Demetriou says no to night AFL final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demetriou says no to night AFL final

By Roger Vaughan 01/06/2006 06:09:27 PM Comments (0)

The AFL is adamant the switch is off for a night grand final, even though some think it is inevitable or at least deserves a trial.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said there would be no "one night in September" for the 2007-11 television rights agreement involving Channels Seven and Ten.

Demetriou reaffirmed the league's commitment to a day match after a newspaper report suggested Seven and Ten wanted a night decider once they took over the rights.

"Well, given that the AFL controls the schedule and always has and always will and it hasn't sold the rights to schedule games to anybody other than itself; I can tell you that the only body that will decide where the grand final is played is the AFL," Demetriou said.

"We have no desire and it's not on the agenda to play a night grand final and you can write that down and I don't know why it's been reported."

He added the idea was discussed for "about two seconds" in negotiations with Seven and Ten for the new rights deal.

Demetriou said fans had made it clear to the league they wanted the match to stay a day-time spectacle.

"And I'm not quite sure why a night grand final would bring anything more to a game, given that our day grand final attracts about three-and-a-half million people on television during the day and it's still going to have 95(000) to 100,000 people in attendance and I can't think why we would want to move it," Demetriou told Radio 3AW.

A Seven spokesman also said the station had no intention to lobby for the change, while Ten declined to comment.

"We haven't sought, nor are we seeking, any change," the Seven spokesman said.

"Some things are sacrosanct and the AFL managing its schedule is high on that list."

While Demetriou wondered whether the grand final could be any bigger, the NRL grand final and the Australian Open men's tennis final both attracted bigger TV ratings when they moved to the evening.

Victorian Sports Minister and former Carlton premiership player Justin Madden expects that financial lure will eventually prevail.

"I tend to think personally that a night grand final is inevitable," he said.

"The corporate forces and the commercial forces of elite sport tend to move in the direction where the money is and as we've seen with the Australian tennis open being showcased at night, I half-expect that in years to come that a night grand final is inevitable.

That's not to say it should happen sooner, I tend to think it will happen later rather than sooner."

Adelaide coach Neil Craig, also a renowned sports scientist, thought the concept was worth an experiment.

He added a night grand final would be present no problems for the competing players.

"You can sit around and talk about it as much as you like, and you should debate it," he said.

"I haven't got a personal opinion on it, whether it should be at night or not, but I can't see any reason why you wouldn't at least try it.

"Players love playing at night, they really do."

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