If reports are to be believed in Fairfax and News Limited newspapers, we are only days away from the announcement of a new AFL broadcasting deal for 2012 to 2016.
The consensus appears to be that Seven will be the free-to-air victor in contract negotiations, whilst Foxtel is all but guaranteed the subscription rights. Doubt remains over whether Ten/One will continue to hold broadcast rights due to the marked increase in the contract price, which according to Caroline Wilson in the Age will be worth some $925 million. This figure is likely to pass the magical target of AUD$1 billion when online rights and contra are taken into account.
The biggest outcome from the new rights deal, if reports are correct is Foxtel’s right to broadcast all games live either in its own right or simulcasting the FTA’s terrestrial broadcast, including all finals except the Grand Final. Foxtel looks set to have five games for exclusive broadcast in what will be the first time the AFL has awarded more games per round to Foxtel compared with a FTA network.
A report in the Australian newspaper says Telstra will secure the online rights again, including the right to broadcast at least one game per round online, which is a sensible move and will complement Telstra Bigpond’s live online coverage of V8 Supercars and assist in growing its burgeoning IPTV service, T-Box.
Either way when the deal is announced by the AFL it will break new ground for the Australian broadcasting and sports industries, in terms of monetary value and the scope of broadcasting rights.
FrostGlobal will have extensive analysis of the new rights deal when the announcement is made.
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