Foxtel, Telstra extend AFL rights deal

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 24-Dec-20

Foxtel has secured a deal with the Australian Football League to extend its existing broadcasting rights deal by two years. Telstra has also extended its rights deal to include the 2023 and 2024 seasons, while the Seven Network struck a similar deal earlier in 2020. The three companies will pay a combined $946m for broadcasting and streaming rights for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. Telstra will also become the official technology partner of Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium, which is owned by the AFL.

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AFL modelling the ‘worst case scenario’, a second season played in interstate bubbles

Original article by Michael Warner, Glenn McFarlane
The Australian – Page: 24 : 30-Oct-20

The Australian Football League is expected to release details of the length of the 2021 season and the length of quarters in early December. Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon has confirmed the AFL’s modelling for 2021 includes the possibility of using hubs again in the event of another outbreak of COVID-19, while Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett says he is hopeful that AFL crowds in Victoria will get back to 50 per cent capacity in 2021. Gordon says colder weather seems to make the virus harder to control, so a winter sport such as the AFL should not get complacent.

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AFL wins TV war with NRL

Original article by Scott Gullan
Herald Sun – Page: 59 : 27-Oct-20

Ratings data from OzTAM shows that the 2020 AFL grand final attracted 3.812 million viewers nationwide, which is the largest audience for an AFL match in four years. The Seven Network boasted an audience share of 65.8% for its coverage of the premiership decider. The AFL is likely to come under growing pressure to move the grand final to a prime-time slot permanently due to the strong ratings. Meanwhile, the Nine Network’s coverage of the NRL grand final was watched by 2.967 million viewers, compared with 2.65 million in 2019.

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AFL restarts with the edge over NRL for TV viewers

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 24-Jun-20

The latest data from Roy Morgan shows that over 7.4 million Australians aged 14+ (36%) watch AFL matches on TV. Significantly more Australians watch the AFL on TV than watch Sydney-based rival the NRL (6 million), although both have declined in recent years. A year ago over 7.5 million Australians said they watched the AFL on TV and this number has dropped by over 100,000 for the latest research conducted in the 12 months to March 2020. The AFL is more popular with both genders than the NRL. More than 4.2 million men watch the AFL on TV compared to 3.6 million that watch the NRL; over 3.2 million women watch the AFL on TV compared to almost 2.4 million that watch the NRL. TV viewership of the AFL is strongest amongst older Australians. Over 40% of Australians aged 50+ watch the AFL on TV, including 1.97 million aged 50-64 and 1.71 million aged 65+. Meanwhile, 2.78 million people watch the AFL Women’s competition on TV, up from 2.42 million a year ago – an increase of 360,000. There have been increases for both genders and across all age groups. This new data comes from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, derived from in-depth interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year.

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Contract discounts cost AFL $150m

Original article by John Stensholt
The Australian – Page: 3 : 12-Jun-20

Foxtel and Seven West Media struck revised broadcast deals with the Australian Football League just prior to the 2020 AFL season resuming on 11 June. The revised deals followed the AFL season being suspended for three months because of COVID-19, and will result in the two companies saving around $200 million on their AFL coverage over the next three years. Television companies had argued broadcast rights are worth less now than what they were previously because the AFL season has been shortened and the length of games have been reduced, while a lack of crowds has arguably reduced the quality of the broadcasts.

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Cut-price footy: TV chiefs muscle up

Original article by John Stensholt, Courtney Walsh
The Australian – Page: 3 : 15-May-20

The Australian Football League will face pressure from Seven West Media and Foxtel for a reduction in their broadcasting rights fees for the 2020 season. They are believed to be seeking a fee reduction of at least $125m, given that the AFL’s shortened season will feature just 17 home-and-away matches. Meanwhile, the broadcasters differ on the revised structure of the season. Seven will push for a large number of ‘blockbuster’ matches to be held early in the season in order to attract advertisers and boost ratings, while Foxtel wants high-profile matches to be played throughout the season.

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Broadcast deal up in the air for AFL clubs

Original article by John Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 3 : 18-Mar-20

The Australian Football League is said to be keen to roll over its broadcasting rights, for which the Seven Network and Fox Sports paid $2.5bn under the current five-year deal. The AFL faces a huge financial hit, with the home-and-away season to be reduced to 17 rounds and the initial rounds to be played in empty stadiums. The host broadcasters could also potentially seek a fee reduction under minimum delivery requirements in the current rights deal. On the other hand, the lockdown could result in a TV ratings boom for AFL matches.

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AFL cuts season, opener in doubt

Original article by John Ferguson, Tessa Akerman
The Australian – Page: 3 : 17-Mar-20

The Australian Football League has responded to the coronavirus crisis by reducing the 2020 home-and-away season from 22 rounds to just 17. The AFL has yet to decide whether to cancel round one or stage matches in empty stadiums. Delaying the start of the season until late May is also an option. CEO Gillon McLachlan has stressed that protecting the community is the league’s top priority. Reports have suggested that AFL players may be asked to take pay cuts of up to 20 per cent.

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AFLW at war

Original article by Michael Warner
Herald Sun – Page: 62 & 61 : 3-Oct-19

The AFL Players’ Association says the majority of AFLW footballers support a proposed three-year collective bargaining agreement, and a vote on the deal will be held shortly. However, a group of AFLW players who are dissatisfied with the proposed pay deal has engaged the services of law firm Maurice Blackburn to represent them. Amongst other things, the dissident group contends that AFLW players will receive a pay rise of seven per cent in 2020 when based on hourly rates, rather than 21 per cent as the AFLPA has claimed.

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Giant loss nets Seven worst grand final rating in 18 years

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 23 & 25 : 30-Sep-19

Data from OzTAM shows that the Seven Network’s broadcast of the 2019 AFL Grand Final boasted a metropolitan audience of 2.197 million viewers, compared with 2.601 million in 2018. The nationwide audience fell from 3.378 million in 2018 to just 2.939 million. Richmond’s 89-point victory over the Greater Western Sydney Giants was the third-biggest winning margin in AFL/VFL history.

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