Demetriou says TV talk 'bunkum' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demetriou says TV talk 'bunkum'

Roger Vaughan 17/11/2010 08:28:45 PM Comments (0)

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has blasted speculation that the league will chase the top dollar for television rights, calling it "complete bunkum".

A decision is expected soon on the new federal government anti-siphoning laws, plus the league is in initial discussions with broadcasters about the next TV rights deal.

Demetriou said money was not the only consideration for the AFL and said the best games would remain on free-to-air, rather than being sold to pay TV.

He added the league controlled the season fixture and would not sell games to broadcasters in blocks to maximise television revenue.

"The nonsense being peddled around, people who want to comment and (say) the AFL will take a bigger dollar and migrate games, it's complete bumpkin," he said on Wednesday at a Gold Coast media conference.

"I get fascinated by the commentary on this ... lots of people have an interest in talking about our rights.

"I will say this very clearly - these are the AFL's rights, it's our content, it's our product.

"We've given significant undertakings, privately and publicly, we've said categorically that the best game of AFL football will be on Friday night on the broadcaster that wants that game.

"It's a free-to-air game, it's what our fans want ... people who write this nonsense that the best game is going on pay, hopefully they'll be watching this press conference."

Demetriou also contends there will be more live broadcasts of matches, despite this still being a rarity for the top-rating Friday night timeslot.

"Live football is inevitable, live sport is what the public wants and you can't stop the tide coming in," he said.

"You should never take your supporters for granted."

But he was hesitant about predicting when live broadcasts of games would become more frequent.

"We'll have to wait and see until after the broadcast rights negotiations," he said.

The AFL are waiting on the government's anti-siphoning laws, which cover sports broadcasting, before going too far with their next TV rights agreement.

The new deal is likely to net the league at least $1 billion.

"I'm not getting any more frustrated, it will be what it will be - we've been pleased with the level of engagement we've had with the federal government," Demetriou said.

"We've put our best foot forward, our best case ... now it's up to the government to make their decision.

"I'm not losing sleep - I lose sleep over children waking up more than I do about anti-siphoning, to be quite truthful."

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