With the AFL’s NAB Cup preseason competition beginning this Friday it is an opportune time to look at how this competition and the home & away season will be covered following last year’s record A$1.2 billion media rights deal.
To watch matches this year and beyond, AFL fans will be spoilt for choice across free-to-air, subscription-TV, mobile or IPTV. As widely known Seven have the free-to-air rights, FOXTEL/AUSTAR the subscription TV rights and Telstra hold the mobile and IPTV rights.
SEVEN as the sole free-to-air TV broadcaster for the first time since 2001, have broadcast rights to four out of the nine weekly games, and will be broadcasting all premiership finals. Seven will also broadcast the Grand Final exclusively LIVE.
During the Premiership season Seven will broadcast the Friday night game, a Saturday Afternoon, a Saturday night and a Sunday afternoon match.
With an increase in broadcast matches from this year, Seven have naturally increased its commentary roster with the addition of Hamish McLachlan, Basil Zempilas, Brian Taylor, Luke Darcy, Cameron Ling, Mick Malthouse and Brett Kirk to the team. Seven have released its commentator roster, as follows:
Victorian viewers will see LIVE football on Seven across the weekend, except for Saturday afternoon games, which will be on a delay. South Australian and Western Australian viewers will see a minimum of four matches per week LIVE or near live, including all matches involving local teams. In a plus for NSW and Queensland viewers, four matches will be broadcast LIVE into those markets each week on Seven’s digital offshoot, 7Mate. All local team matches will be broadcast on 7Mate, as in WA & SA.
FOXTEL will be the home of continuous AFL coverage this year with the launch of 24/7 AFL channel FOX FOOTY from this Friday at 5PM. The channel produced by Premier Media Group’s Fox Sports will be spearheaded by Eddie McGuire.
FOX FOOTY’s coverage will be extensive showing every game of the home & away season LIVE, in HD (and SD) with no commercials during each quarter. All finals matches will also be LIVE in HD, except the Grand Final, which Seven will broadcast exclusively LIVE.
FOX FOOTY will therefore cover exclusively five matches per round and take the Seven feed for the remaining four matches. If there is a clash of two games (e.g. Saturday afternoons) one game will be broadcast on FOX FOOTY and the other on FOX SPORTS 1. Seven’s Saturday Afternoon broadcast game, which is delayed into Victoria on Seven, will be LIVE in Victoria and nationally on FOX FOOTY.
The pre-season NAB Cup will be shown exclusively LIVE on FOX FOOTY, apart from the Cup’s Grand Final which will be broadcast on FOX FOOTY and Seven.
FOX FOOTY will also have a plethora of magazine programs covering the game throughout the week, including AFL 360 four-nights-a-week. The existing magazine programs will be moved onto FOX FOOTY from FOX SPORTS 1.
UPDATE: FOX SPORTS have confirmed the following magazines program will be seen on FOX FOOTY:
FOX FOOTY is included in Foxtel and Austar’s basic sports tier with supplemental charges applying for HD and Xbox customers. For more information go to www.foxtel.com.au.
TELSTRA paid $153 million for its share of AFL rights, which includes management of the AFL and teams’ websites, IPTV and mobile broadcast rights.
Telstra will have LIVE coverage of all matches for customers using a compatible 4G or Next G smartphone, mobile device or tablet. This will be available at m.afl.com.au or the soon to be released AFL LIVE App.
Customers can access LIVE match coverage for either $10 a month (first month free), $50 season pass or $5 per match (unmetered for Telstra customers). This will also give access to the other features of the App including live scores, live match radio broadcasts, video match highlights, team lists, player profiles, match reports, previews and news. The app will be available from the Android Market or Apple’s App Store.
Telstra will also continue its Bigpond AFL TV channel, which includes full video highlights and game replays. T-Box customers will have access to LIVE coverage of the Saturday Twlight game. If T-Box customers want access to more live AFL matches over IPTV, AFL on FOXTEL on T-Box will deliver AFL matches live through Footy Play powered by FOX SPORTS.
For more information, including for T-Box pricing to catch AFL matches check out Telstra’s website.
This extensive level of broadcast coverage of Australia’s largest football code will certainly set a new standard for other sports such as the NRL, V8 Supercars and Cricket Australia as they look to secure their next broadcast deals in the coming years.