Broadcast deal kicks goals for all - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broadcast deal kicks goals for all

By Steve Larkin 28/04/2011 05:41:23 PM Comments (0)

AFL fans love complaining - about umpires, about players and about how their game has changed.

But even the most traditional, one-eyed supporter will have trouble picking a hole in the AFL's unprecedented $1.253 billion broadcast deal.

Simply put, it's an extraordinary win.

It's a winner for the AFL, clubs, players, fans and the three organisations - Foxtel, the Seven Network and Telstra - who forked out massive amounts of cash for the rights.

The AFL wins on all fronts, not least from the money to underpin their new expansion era, but also because their product can be seen by more people from next year.

Clubs win because of the financial windfall. Players will win because they'll get a bigger slice of the cake.

Fans win because they can see more games live on both free to air and pay television.

Foxtel wins because they're going to show every AFL game live from next year. No wonder their chief executive Kim Williams reckons subscriptions will "take off like wildfire".

Seven wins because they retain their winter ratings lifeblood, a sport which, as their chief executive David Leckie says, is part of their DNA.

And Telstra wins because, for the first time, AFL games will be available live on mobile phones.

The cash component is $1.118 billion over five years, the rest is contra.

And the cash figure is some $369 million more than the last five-year deal.

"That is a great outcome for the football industry," AFL chief Andrew Demetriou said on Thursday.

The funds help underwrite the AFL's expansion, notably new entity Greater Western Sydney.

The league can now better absorb inflationary pressures which could have driven up the price of admission to games and club memberships.

But the crux of the deal is the AFL's intent to dominate Australia's sporting landscape.

"More people now have access to more games in more places and delivered by more media platforms than any before," Demetriou said.

"I'm happy to say this agreement will also deliver greater financial security to the football industry than ever before."

The deal allays fears of some pundits of diluted access to AFL games on free-to-air television.

The Seven Network, which may yet on-sell some games to other networks, will screen four games a week, most of them live.

Such games will be shown live in NSW, Queensland and the ACT - markets the AFL is desperate to encroach on rugby league.

The AFL's Victorian heartland has been well catered for too - from next year, Friday night games, Saturday night games and Sunday afternoon games will all be live on Seven.

In South Australia and Western Australia, the time of delayed telecasts of Friday night games has been reduced, with the majority of Saturday night and Sunday afternoon games also live.

And in those parochial football states, games featuring their clubs have been guaranteed of being shown on free to air - and the same agreement exists in Queensland and NSW for their respective teams.

The only catch in markets such as SA and WA is the matches may be screened free to air on delay.

But if that's a problem for the avid footy fan, they can always subscribe to Foxtel.

Or even choose to use Telstra's live mobile platform.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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