Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans, Wallaby Kane Douglas and Hawthorne's Sam Mitchell pictured at the Fox Sports 2016 launch.
Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans, Wallaby Kane Douglas and Hawthorne's Sam Mitchell pictured at the Fox Sports 2016 launch. Contributed

Fox Sports aims to cover all codes with expanded coverage

FOX Sports is aiming to become the definitive home of all codes of football.

This year the pay-TV broadcaster will air all NRL and AFL premiership matches live, in high definition and ad-free during play. Rugby Union will also get the same treatment when the international season starts in June.

An uninterrupted viewing experience is something Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans thinks is a positive development for fans.

"I watch a lot of rugby league on the weekends, and the thought of no ads is very exciting," he told APN.

"To be honest I don't know how they're going to fit in ad breaks with rugby league speeding up so much."

The Redcliffe-born player says he is looking forward to a season free of distractions following his contract dramas last year.

"The club in general is looking forward to a season where we can hopefully let our footy do the talking," he said.

"Both on and off the field we didn't have much positive press last season. I think this year is definitely a new beginning for myself and the club moving forward.

"We've trained extremely hard in preparation for a very fast season and less breaks during the games."

The 27-year-old says he feels fighting fit after undergoing shoulder surgery last year.

"I wouldn't be playing if I didn't feel as though I was 100%," he said.

"I did everything I had to rehab-wise. I got my strength back and I feel strong. More than anything I'm excited about the year ahead and I'm not thinking about how my shoulder is going to pull up. I'm thinking about football, not my body and what might be."

Fox Sports has also expanded its commentary offerings with 10 shows offering more than 36 hours of analysis each week.

Queensland league great Mal Meninga also joins the commentary team alongside Laurie Daley and Kevin Walters.

Hawthorn's four-time premiership star Sam Mitchell is champing at the bit for the start of the AFL season on March 24.

"We have the best job in the world," he said.

"A lot of people say it's hard work but there's nothing I'd rather be doing."

Mitchell is excited about the sport's growth in Queensland, a state dominated by rugby league.

"When we go up there you see more jumpers around. The rivalry between Gold Coast and Brisbane has helped the code," he said.

"The Gold Coast are on the right track and Brisbane are rebuilding. As the two clubs come up the ladder together there will be a lot more interest (in AFL) over the next few years."

But this year the AFL pundits are waiting to see if Hawthorne is in top form to try for a fourth-straight premiership.

"From a media point of view everyone's talking about us to trying to win four in a row, but for us we don't really think about that until it gets to the end of the year," he said.

"We just love playing the game. As cliché as it sounds you're just trying to do your best to win every week."

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