AFL not worried over Seven's re-runs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL not worried over Seven's re-runs

By Adam Cooper 07/07/2009 07:30:32 PM Comments (0)

The AFL says it has no issue with the Seven Network ditching one of the game's best advertisements in favour of old comedy re-runs in the two cities the league wants to crack.

St Kilda's six-point win over Geelong last Sunday has already been cast as a modern-day classic, was played at a fierce tempo before a record crowd of 54,444 at Etihad Stadium and might be the precursor to this year's grand final.

Seven's decision to televise the game live into Melbourne paid off handsomely, as it attracted 626,000 viewers in the city.

But in Sydney and Brisbane, the markets the AFL has turned its focus to and plans to expand into over the next three years, the game was not televised by Seven until 11.45pm (AEST).

When it was screened, the game attracted paltry audiences of 19,000 in Sydney and 13,000 in Brisbane.

The programs Seven screened instead of showing the game live in Sydney were dated comedies Ripping Yarns, Mother and Son, and What a Carry On, alongside a travelogue program in Brisbane.

Seven screened the game between the Swans and North Melbourne live into both Sydney and Brisbane, and that attracted audiences of 87,000 and 41,000 respectively.

A spokesman for the network said the broadcast schedule had been organised in advance with the AFL, Network Ten and pay TV station Fox Sports under the current broadcast deal.

Critics say screening the Saints-Cats clash live into Sydney and Brisbane could have established more of a foot-hold in those areas, as the AFL plans to have a team from the Gold Coast enter the competition in 2011 and a side from western Sydney enter in 2012.

But an AFL spokesman said the league had no issue with Seven's decision to delay the game until close to midnight.

"No we don't," he said.

"Under the current contract, the game that must be shown live in those markets is the primary side, and in this case that was the Swans-North game."

He said Brisbane and Sydney viewers could have seen the Saints-Geelong game live had they had pay TV subscriptions.

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