AFL wants live coverage in next TV deal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL wants live coverage in next TV deal

19/03/2010 07:25:41 PM Comments (0)

The AFL wants television networks to show matches live when the next broadcast rights deal is brokered for the 2012 season and beyond.

The next five-year agreement is expected to be worth more than $1 billion and AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said the league would also seek a commitment to screen games live.

Currently, the four games per week shown on free to air television are usually delayed telecasts.

"Regardless of what people have thought in the past and regardless of what my personal view is one way or the other, the world is demanding to see their sport live," Demetriou told the Ten Network, one of the current rights-holders, along with Seven and Foxtel.

"The consumer, the viewer out there, wants to watch their sport live and you can't stop the tide coming in."

Demetriou said the current delayed telecasts were partly due to a past AFL belief that live screenings caused reduced attendances, but that had since been shown to be false.

"We've always believed in a delay on Saturday afternoon, for example, for 30 minutes or 40 minutes," he said.

"On the Friday night that was the choice of the Seven Network to delay.

"We're finding, there's no doubt now, that certainly when you go live it doesn't affect the gate, which is one of those misnomers that have been perpetuated over a long period of time.

"We're going to kid ourselves if we think the consumer and the viewer at a point in time (will) tolerate not getting their sport live."

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