|Starring||Brad McEwan (Monday - Thursday)
Rob Canning (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||19|
|Running time||30 minutes (including commercials) & 15-20 minutes during Ten Late News.|
|Original network||Network Ten (1993 - 2011)
One (2009 - 2011)
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)
|Original release||30 August 1993 – 30 September 2011|
Sports Tonight is an Australian sports news and information program modelled on the American version with the same name, founded and developed by Executive Producer Steve Tucker and broadcast on Network Ten (and on its sister digital channel One), from 1993, until 2011.
At the end of its run, the program was broadcast on weeknights (on One) at 10.30 pm; at 11.00pm (on Ten combined with Ten Late News), Fridays at 12.00am (on Ten after the Late News), and on Sunday from 7:30pm AEDT (on One, though this sometimes varied due to live sports coverage or other programming). The program provided up-to-date sports scores and team and player information for all codes of football and different sports across Australia.
The show ran from 1993 to 2011. From 1993 until 2005, the show ran for half an hour on each weeknight after Ten Late News. The two shows merged in 2006, but there was some criticism by viewers that Sports Tonight was not long enough and that it should have remained the same. However, the Friday edition of Sports Tonight remained separate in order to recap that night's football results.
In 2011 the weekend 5:30pm editions of Sports Tonight normally seen on Network Ten were removed from those timeslots, due to the weekend news bulletins moving to 6pm. To compensate for this, a Sports Tonight-branded sports report was incorporated into these bulletins. This edition of Sports Tonight had been airing in the 5:30pm weekend slot since 2000. Thus, the only time Sports Tonight is aired on Network Ten is in the traditional late-night time slot with Ten Late News.
In recent years the program was branded as Toyota Sports Tonight. In late 2006, the show was sponsored by Toyota and its upcoming Toyota Aurion, although only minor modifications were done to the on-air graphics to match those of the Aurion colours. In early 2007, the graphics were updated with a heavily sponsored on-air look.
Since March 2009, a weeknightly 9.30 pm edition (started out at 7pm) of Sports Tonight aired on One with a weekend wrap edition on Sundays. Since 8 May 2011 with the relaunch of One, it aired at around 10.30pm weeknights (varies if other programming is on) and at 11.00pm on Fridays.
In December 2010 Sports Tonight updated their on-air graphics. On 5 July 2011, it was announced that the show would be axed; the show continued to air until just before the conclusion of the football seasons. The final episode aired on 30 September 2011.
At the time of Sports Tonight's axing, the presenters were:
- Brad McEwan – now the sports presenter on Ten Eyewitness News Melbourne
- Rob Canning – now a sports reporter on Nine News Sydney
- Neil Cordy (fill-in) – now an AFL writer for Sydney's The Daily Telegraph
Previous Hosts included:
- Tim Webster (first host, 1993–2004) – now on Christian radio in Sydney
- Matthew White (last appeared on Sunday 20 June 2004) – now back at Network Ten after a decade at the Seven Network
- Bill Woods (alternative host, 1993–2005) – now on Fox Sports Australia
- Leigh Diffey (weekend host during 2005 and 2006. Last appeared on Sunday 3 December 2006)
- Ryan Phelan (last appeared on Thursday, 21 December 2006, now Seven News sport presenter) – now at the Seven Network presenting news updates on The Morning Show, The Daily Edition as well as sport on the Monday edition of Seven Morning News
- Mark Aiston (presented on 8 September 2007 due to Brad McEwan, Rob Canning and Neil Cordy being all unavailable, also presented during the 2007–2008 summer period) – now no longer at Network Ten
Sports Tonight had many around the ground reporters across Australia. Reporters included:
- Kelli Underwood: AFL and Senior all sports reporter, including Tennis; based in Melbourne – now at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- Amy Hetzel: Producer and reporter; based in Sydney
- Greg Rust: Motosports reporter; based in Sydney (also Motosports Host and Commentator)
- Leigh Diffey: Sports reporter; based in Sydney (also Weekend ST Presenter 2004–2006)
- Nathan Templeton: Sports reporter – now the Melbourne correspondent on the Seven Network's Sunrise
Sports Tonight had been nominated for the Most Popular Sports Program for the Logies a total of 12 times. The show was nominated in every year from 1997 until 2010, with the exception of 1999 (not awarded in this year) and 2001 (sports programs included those of the Sydney Olympic Games the previous year).