In the biggest media deal in Australian sporting history, the AFL announced on 6th of September that Channel Seven and Foxtel have retained the Australian domestic broadcast rights to men's and women's competitions for a further seven years, fending off strong challenges from rival channels Nine and 10. The new deal, which expires at the end of 2031 season, is worth a total of A$4.5 billion (US$3.08 billion) at an average of A$643 million per year, a large increase on the A$473 million per year figure for the two-year contract extension Seven and Foxtel signed with the League in 2020, at the height of COVID pandemic. The previous rights deal from 2017 and 2022, also with Seven and Foxtel, was worth A$2.5 billion. [Ed. note: This new deal does not immediately affect coverage in the US and Canada which are covered by pre-existing contracts extending beyond this season. The current AFL deal with Fox Sports US has a mutual renewal option for the 2023 season.]
Fox Sports 2
Content related to coverage on Fox Sports 2
Another note to alert everyone that AFANA is closely tracking any developments the AFL makes to their season plans going forward. For now, everything downunder is suspended and the league is desperately trying to manage the financial impact. Fox Sports in the US is airing re-runs from March all month on Fox Soccer Plus but no other channel at this time. TSN is not airing any AFL coverage so far as we know in Canada. Our TV schedules are up to date through the end of April. Other pages like the radio page, draw pages, etc. will be updated as things become clearer.
Fans have also asked for an AFANA financial status report. It's still unstable in the long run but thanks to some limited sales commissions from WatchAFL and severe cost cutting, we will survive for the next few months for sure. As long as the season is shut down, that revenue will cease after May and we'll reassess where we are in early June. We badly need donations, particularly monthly commitments to cement our long term survival. We know that all of the chaos brought about by the COVID-19 virus puts added financial pressure on each of you as well. If you are fortunate and can spare some dollars please consider a donation using either of our donation buttons (GoFundMe or PayPal) at the top of the page. Consider $10 a month but any amount helps. Thanks for your support.
Just a quick note to alert everyone that AFANA is closely following any changes the AFL makes to their schedule, whether it ends up being a shortened season as indicated overnight or is ultimately canceled. That will have a ripple effect on our TV schedules, radio page, draw pages, etc. As the dust settles we will make the necessary updates or notes but it might take awhile for everything to trickle down to the entire site and the networks to catch up.
Fans have also asked about where we are financially. It's still precarious and we badly need donations to pay the bills and debts. We know that all of the chaos brought about by the COVID-19 virus puts added financial pressure on each of you as well as on our long term viability. Please continue to consider a donation using either of our donation buttons at the top of the page. Thanks for your support.
Over the weekend, we updated our TV schedules page and companion Google calendar to include the preliminary scheduled times up to the Grand Final for Fox networks and WatchAFL. For Fox, all finals in weeks one to three are live on Fox Sports 2 (FS2) only and repeats on Fox Soccer Plus (FSP). The Grand Final is on FSP only. WatchAFL has all matches, live and on-demand. Canadian schedules haven't been released yet but we're expecting something soon.
All live times are, of course, subject to change since the AFL adjusts match times during finals on a weekly basis. We've gone with what Fox provided us and for WatchAFL, with what the AFL did last season. The two vary a little for week one but we should have something firm by the end of August. The weeks 2 and 3 plus the Grand Final all line up and agree with recent years. We'll continuously update the schedules as we get closer to the end of the season and more info comes in.
We also are offering discounts for all WatchAFL subscriptions through the end of the season. It's 10% off for fans using code AFANA10. Be sure to go to https://mbsy.co/lhBGw and enter the code before you select which subscription option you want. Then click apply and choose the length of your subscription. If you have a bar, pub, or other venue hosting a party or showing AFL matches, contact us for a special code and save massively.
Need meat pies? Save 15% at DUB Pies using code afana18 (lower case) at https://www.dubpies.com/ Using our links and discount codes helps fund what we do at AFANA. We receive no financial support from the AFL or networks and depend entirely on you, the reader, to keep us going.
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.
(Ed. note: for the latest on online coverage see our TV Info page. This article won't be updated so go there for current info.)
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.
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.
(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):
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.
This is intended for you to add to your personal calendar and is free for personal use. All other uses must credit AFANA. The individual calendar events contain further details in the description (click on an entry). For a full schedule see our TV schedules web page.