It’ll be Moet & Chandon all round at AFL House tonight. In a deal which consolidates its position as Australia’s premier winter sporting code, the AFL has just announced a $1.253 billion dollar TV rights deal from 2012 to 2016. It’s far and away the largest sport rights deal in Australian history.
The five year deal will see Channel Seven televise four games per week. Seven will also retain exclusive rights to the AFL grand final, and pre-season Cup grand final, while Fox Sports will screen all eight weekly games live, including the games shown on Seven.
This is a major return to AFL for the pay TV broadcaster, which has also grabbed the high-rating Brownlow medal night coverage from Seven. Fox will also revive a dedicated AFL channel. Its last such channel, the Fox Footy Channel, turned its toes up after the 2006 grand final.
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Another week in the A-League, another drubbing for the attendance figures. I tuned in to the Gold Coast-Mariners game on Monday and thought Fox Sports had actually started adding canned crowds to their coverage.
I’m not here to beat up the A-League – I have to make a living out of and there’s enough people doing it already – but the Gold Coast attendance of 2037 is appalling. This club is a known basketcase and has never had much of a crowd but it was the same across the league. Why don’t football fans turn up?
Let’s get the obvious reason out the way: its finals time for the two big codes, and they’re sucking up every possible sports fan, second of airtime and dollar that exists.
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