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2017 North American TV Coverage Is Still Up In The Air
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(Ed note: 3/23/17 7:00 PM EDT. We have added almost all known schedule listings to our TV schedules page. We still await the official announcement from the AFL and Fox Sports. TSN did issue a press release today.
3/22/17 9:15 PM EDT. We have now confirmed the round 1 schedules with all parties. We also will be adding Round 2 to 5 for Fox to the schedules page in the next 24 hrs. However, we understand that contractual issues remain between Fox and the AFL. 
3/22/17 4:00 PM EDT. We have posted the schedule info we have so far on our TV schedules page but nothing has been officially confirmed by the AFL, Fox Sports, or TSN. We anticipate an announcement in the next 24 to 36 hrs. More will follow as available.)

With a little over two weeks until the 2017 AFL season kicks off, the league and its North American broadcast television partners are still in the process of negotiating television rights for the 2017 season and beyond. The AFL is hopeful that the deal is finalized before the Round 1 opener of Carlton v Richmond on March 23rd.  This applies to both US and Canada.

While AFANA understands this is not ideal, we are encouraged that the parties involved are still negotiating and are hopeful that an agreement can be reached quickly. None of the parties has indicated that any specific problem is the cause of the delay and we discourage fans from uninformed speculation. While the delay is of concern, we do not suggest fans take any action at this time.

All games will still be streamed on WatchAFL Global to subscribers, regardless of the current broadcast television situation.

Free Trial of WatchAFL
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WatchAFL is offering a free trial through March 23rd. You will be able to watch all this year's NAB AFL Women's matches (except the Women's Grand Final. The free trial ends March 23rd, WGF is March 25th.) and JLT Community Series games (men's preseason) for free! (you do have to sign up with a credit card or PayPal and cancel before 11:59 PM Australia time on March 23rd or they will start charging your account). There are also Android and Apple apps in the app stores. Go to https://www.watchafl.com.au/ for the details. Our TV schedules page has complete schedules for WatchAFL, Fox Soccer Plus (FSP), and other networks posted now. All JLT Community Series matches will be live on FSP with repeats. The official press release is attached to the full version of this article (click on "more:" if you are reading this on the home page).

2016 Grand Final Live on Fox Soccer Plus, TSN2, and WatchAFL in North America
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Fans should carefully note the start and end times of Grand Final coverage in the USA and Canada. We have been advised by Fox Sports that due to music rights guarantees requested by the host broadcaster Seven Network, many broadcasters including Fox Soccer Plus will be unable to show anything except the Grand Final game itself. This will mean coverage will be limited to a window between 12:24 AM and approximately 3:30 AM EDT in the US. Coverage will end shortly after the match ends. Fox has indicated they expect to be able to air the medal ceremony.  Fox Soccer Plus (FSP) in the USA and TSN2 in Canada will carry the Grand Final between Sydney and Western Bulldogs LIVE on Friday night / Saturday morning, September 30th / October 1st.  US coverage on FSP will begin at 12:24 AM EDT Saturday. Set your DVR accordingly by adding extra time before and after so you don't miss any of the medal ceremony or extra time if it occurs! Coverage will continue until approximately 3:30 AM EDT Saturday concluding after the medal ceremony. No other pre- or post-match coverage will be provided. Canadian coverage on TSN2 will begin at 10:30 PM EDT Friday and run to 4:00 AM Saturday. If you have no access to any of the preceding options, the game will be live via the internet on WatchAFL (payment required, US$22) and you can sign up at this link. WatchAFL coverage will begin at 11:30 PM EDT. Fans should check our TV Schedule page for full TV listings including any repeats and our TV Info page for more information on FSP, WatchAFL, and TSN2. For those looking for parties, see our listings on our Grand Final Party page. (Note:  the only live coverage in North America is via these outlets and they are available nationally via cable and satellite services -- see our TV Info page. Asking us if there are others will not get you a different answer because there isn't one.)

2016 Grand Final Parties Around North America and the World
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2016 AFL Grand Parties AFANA Logo

Looking for an AFL Grand Final Party in your area?
You can reach all of our listings by clicking on the drop down box at the bottom of this article.
(If you are reading this on the front page of our web site
"click to read more" first.)
Geelong celebrates a Grand Final win in 2007
Are you hosting a party and would like to promote it?  Once again, AFANA is accepting announcements of Grand Final parties.  If you are hosting a Grand Final party and want AFANA to post it on our site, send us the details by going to: our party entry page.

 

AFANA Now Accepting 2016 Grand Final Party Announcements
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Are you or your group hosting a Grand Final party?

Once again, AFANA is accepting announcements of Grand Final parties. If you are hosting a Grand Final party and want AFANA to post it on our site complete the form below this article. Please note that this year, the Grand Final will be played on October 1st (Melbourne time) which is Friday, September 30th in North America.
 
Hawthorn Celebrates After Winning 2008 Grand FinalIf you are a party organizer (no matter how big or small) or your footy club, social club, Australian American Chamber of Commerce, Aussie pub, etc. are planning a party please let us know.  If we know, we can direct local fans and out of town visitors to you.  Last year, many of the individual party listings were read over 1000 times each on our site!  Our listings cover the entire globe.  If there is a party somewhere around the world then we want to have it listed!  If you haven't started planning your party, now is the time to do so.  Selected parties can receive AFL merchandise for door prizes for their guests.  All party organizers are automatically entered into any AFL contest on their web site.

Please complete the form below to submit your announcement.  Announcements will be posted to our web site. AFANA reserves the right to edit all announcements for style and brevity. Attachments may be sent with additional details to: aussiefb@afana.com Please note:  Even if you send something to us by e-mail, you still must complete the form below!  If you do not complete the form first, we may not publish your announcement!  We recommend that you if have a user account on this site that you log in prior to completing the form. Party listings will be published here. Front page readers click on "read more" to see the submission form.

AFL Gets To Roku and Fire by the Back Door
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Effective 6/26/2016, Sony's PlayStation Vue service has added Roku and Amazon Fire apps to their offering which brings AFL to those platforms along with it. Since you can subscribe to the service via Roku or Fire boxes without the need to own a Playstation, it adds another way to get footy onto your TV and avoid subscribing to a full cable TV subscription. High speed internet will still be required, of course.

Pricing probably means it exists as an alternative for the "cord cutters" and no so much for other internet based viewers. The service carries Fox Sports 1 (FS1) and Fox Sports 2 (FS2) in it's base offering ("Access" package) for $29.99 per month along with many other channels.

Gains and Losses in AFL TV Coverage in 2016
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Changes occurred today in the coverage of AFL games in both the US and Canada. On the US side, a major milestone occurred when Fox informed AFANA that effective next week (Round 3, 2016), one live game per week will move to Fox Sports 1 (FS1). This means that for the first time since 1985, live AFL matches will be on a major sports network in the United States. FS1 reaches 73% of US homes and overnight will expand the potential audience for the sport by tens of millions. Whether this continues will undoubtedly depend on the ratings and the audience reception as well as whether sponsors can be convinced to come on board. Given that the time slots will be very poor, particularly in the eastern US, this will be a challenge. AFANA has already updated its TV schedules to reflect the games on FS1 through Round 10.

In Canada, AFANA learned that RDS is dropping French language coverage due to cost and schedule concerns. The door was left open however, that if enough fans contact the network, they might reconsider the decision. This is a major loss as the coverage on RDS and RDS2 was high quality and redubbed in French. The potential audience was over seven million. Fans are encouraged to contact RDS. AFANA a été informé par le directeur de la programmation à RDS que la couverture du football australien ne coninuerai pas en 2016. Les raisons incluent le coût et le calendrier. Il a indiqué que si assez de fans montrent l'intérêt qu'ils pourraient reconsidérer. Nous encourageons les supporters à les contacter.

Australian Football on US Television in 2016 and the Future
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(This is the first in a series of long form editorials on the state of footy on TV in 2016 and the future outlook.) A long time ago in TV world far, far away, a small group of passionate AFL fans managed to get the AFL and ESPN together and save the weekly highlights coverage on US and Canadian television. It was an early and largely unnoticed accomplishment of the internet age as e-mail and newsgroups were the media used to launch coordinated action. Looking back, it was an amazing achievement in 1995-1996. It also was the catalyst for the formation of AFANA.

Over the past 20 years we’ve evolved from lobbying by fans to more sophisticated ways of attempting to drive the AFL’s TV strategy (with varying degrees of success). We’ve successfully helped steer them to new TV homes for the sport when old ones blew up on us. We’ve succeeded in keeping it on the air for 21 seasons without fail. Now, we have to decide what we do in 2016 and beyond. The answers for 1996 and 2006 no longer are the right ones. The TV market has changed. The fan base has changed. The AFL is far more media savvy than before and nominally, has an “international” strategy (although fans and marketing seem not to be a big part of that). We must change our tactics and strategy to deal with the AFL, TV networks, and fan development to match the world as it is in 2016.

Let’s take a look at the US landscape today (we’ll deal with Canada and Mexico in a future article):

Urgent Announcement: TV Schedule Change for Grand Final - Action Needed!
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Today, Fox Soccer Plus dropped coverage of the pre-game for the Grand Final.

Coverage now starts at 12:30 AM US EDT, just before the first bounce. We were surprised by this change and so far, we have no explanation from Fox regarding the change but we have requested an explanation.

Regardless of the reasons given, this is very disappointing. We strongly urge all fans to contact Fox and the AFL and let them know we want the full coverage restored.

Contact Fox and the AFL via any means you can. Web, Facebook, Twitter, Phone, Fax, whatever you can use. Time is of the essence with the match only 72 hours away.

Here are a few links to get you started. If you find others, reply to us at auss...@afana.com and let us know.

Decreasing Coverage on Fox Soccer Plus
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Fans checking our TV schedule page will notice the rapid decline in AFL coverage on Fox Soccer Plus (FSP), beginning this week and continuing into September. At AFANA, we felt it important to make a statement regarding the situation so that it is understood and the potential long term impact is made clear. Over the past 18 months, FSP has concluded a number of rights agreements for various soccer leagues, both domestic and European. Most of those leagues have now started play for their 2015-2016 seasons. This has meant that the 1 to 3 repeats per week on FSP of all AFL matches on Fox have been reduced. In a few cases, the matches aired live on Fox Sports 2 (FS2) are not repeated on tape delay on FSP. Many of the live matches on FSP have none or one repeat through the first 2 weeks of the finals. Please note that the repeats were not contractually required, so far as we know.  The number of live matches per week has not changed.

Going forward, we strongly encourage fans to check our schedule page frequently and insure that they either watch the match live or record it successfully. For those with WatchAFL, that is also an option. Based on the schedule at present, finals matches will be repeated at most once in the first two weeks. You should not anticipate that any match will be repeated more than once. We do not expect that this will impact Grand Final coverage or that the Grand Final will be shifted off of FSP.

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