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Confusion or Deception: Mixed Messages from AFL

(Ed. note: the following is an editorial from the management of AFANA in response to recent public statements of the AFL CEO.)

Once again, the AFL has muddied the waters and discouraged those working to develop the game internationally  It reinforces the feeling that the AFL talks out of both sides of its mouth. Fans outside Australia are left wondering if they matter to anyone at the AFL headquarters.

Recently, AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, as reported by the Australian Associated Press and the Melbourne Age newspaper, told the American Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne that the AFL does not plan on being an "international sport". Our

Bulletin: MHz to Drop AFL Coverage After July 7 2012

AFANA was advised this afternoon (6/22/12) that following the July 7th telecast, MHz Networks will drop Australian football.  The announcement suggests financial costs are the reason however we have no detailed explanation.  We will post further information as it becomes available.  Coverage will continue on Fox Soccer Plus. AFANA is deeply disappointed at this unexpected news.  [Ed. note (07/09/12):  Please see the comment below regarding the AFL response.]

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Editorial: Did The AFL Fail Footy In The USA?

(This editorial is in response to the following post on the site of AFL Decision Fails Sport in USA.)(Ed. note: Link removed as no longer works as of Apr. 2013)

Our friend Wayne Kraska at recently posted an editorial on why he feels the AFL has failed the sport of Australian football in the USA with it's latest TV contract with Fox Sports Plus (announcement here).  Considering his arguments and those of the many fans who commented here on this site, on our Facebook page, and in e-mails to us, I felt it was appropriate to respond. 

At the outset, I want every reader to know that I am sympathetic to the fans who feel the sport took a backward step with this new deal.  In some ways, that may be true.  I understand the frustration of fans who cannot get or afford to subscribe to Fox Sports Plus (FSP).  I also believe that there is a lack of understanding by many of the realities the AFL faced, the alternatives available, and the history of both recent events and those since 1980 when the AFL first appeared on the then nascent network ESPN.  

I want to address Wayne's key points because he raises some that many other fans have expressed.

AFL Coverage on Fox Soccer Plus for Next 3 Years

The AFL announced today that it had reached a three year deal (2012-2014) with Fox Sports for weekly AFL coverage on FOX Soccer Plus (FSP).  FSP is the subscription channel counterpart to Fox Soccer (formerly Fox Soccer Channel and before that Fox Sports World).  The cost will be $14.99 a month and FSP is available to customers of DirecTV, DISH, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, most Time-Warner and Brighthouse cable systems, Cablevision, Cox, BlueRidge, Bendbroadband, SureWest, FullChannel, Frontier, and RCN cable.  The AFL was unable to come to a deal with ESPN for continued coverage on their outlets.  Coverage will be two live matches per week typically (will vary occasionally) plus all finals live. The AFL Winners weekly highlight show will be available on FSP also. AFANA will post more detailed schedules in the next few days and update all of our TV pages to reflect this change in coverage. (TV pages have been updated)  Canadian TV coverage will remain on TSN2 with one live match per week.  (Addendum: 03/23/12: MHz has confirmed they will continue coverage this season with games on Monday nights at 10:00 PM EDT, repeated on Saturdays at 4:00 AM EDT.  Matches will be edited to 2 hrs and they will not carry the highlights programs ("AFL Winners") this season on Saturdays. Also, FSP on some Time Warner systems which offer the Sports Pass package of channels,  FSP will be just $5.99 -- price may vary slightly in some areas.)

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Brief Update on 2012 TV Coverage

(Update: 3/8/12: We have schedules now for TSN in Canada on our TV page.  In Round 1 TSN2 will have Hawthorn v Collingwood and 3 more on  GWS v Syd, Rich v Coll, NMel v Ess.  We don't have US scheds or network yet but you can assume the matches will be the same and you can guess the network.  We will have more shortly.)  (Further info as of 2/28/12:  AFANA's sources suggest that a TV deal for both the USA and Canada is very close. We're waiting for an announcement or details from the AFL. That's all we can say at this stage since it is not possible to confirm any additional information. We don't want to jeopardize any deal or put out unconfirmed info so that's all we tell you at this time. [In other words, asking for more will not get you anything, OK?].)  Original article: This is a brief update on the expected TV coverage of the AFL in North America in 2012.  For US viewers, we can advise that at this time we do not expect any coverage on ESPN affiliated networks in 2012 based on information from ESPN.  However negotiations are on-going according to the AFL. (This has no bearing on whether ESPN covers the sport in other parts of the world.) Coverage on MHz Networks will likely continue however, no agreement has been concluded.  We understand negotiations are continuing but beyond that we do not have further information at this time. 

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Foxtel Big Winner In New Broadcast Deal

Pay TV provider Foxtel and its half-owner Telstra have emerged as the biggest winners of the new AFL domestic broadcast deal, as Channel Seven retains the free-to-air rights to the competition. For the first time since 1997, the primary broadcaster will not change. In the biggest media deal in Australian sporting history, Foxtel and country Pay-TV provider Austar have won the right to televise every game (except the Grand Final) live, while Seven has the right to broadcast a minimum of four matches each round during the regular season and the Grand Final live.

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Late Change Announced to AFL Highlights and Internet Coverage

Major changes have been announced to the AFL weekly highlights programs and online coverage by the AFL.  Details were made available to AFANA in the past 24 hours.  (There are no other changes we are aware of besides what is reported here.)  The traditional AFL highlights programs have been replaced by a FOX Sports produced program called "AFL Winners" and the the online service previously provided by Aussie Sport TV (ASTV) has been replaced by LiveAFL.TV.  The new service is supposed to support platforms other than the Windows based PC's including Apple Mac's.  (We have not tested this as yet but there are at least two reports that it does work on Macs.)

The new weekly

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2010 Television Coverage for US and Canada Announced

The 2010 season TV coverage for North America is finally becoming clear. For the most part, coverage will not be different than what was the case in August and September of last season. The primary US coverage will be via internet broadband on This is free if your ISP has a deal with ESPN [about 50% of US homes including internet providers Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications, etc. It is also available at no cost to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks].  We will be posting round by round schedules for virtually the entire AFL season shortly. Round 1 will have

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Back To The Future: Why AFANA Matters

About three years ago, I wrote an entry on my blog here at on "Why AFANA Is Important Even If You Don't Get The Footy Now".  My argument then, in a nutshell, was this:  If the only time you support what we do is when you are happy with the coverage, we might not be there on the day when you are not.  Or alternately, if you only visit our site when you feel you need us, don't be surprised if we aren't able to help you.

TV Coverage Returns to ESPN and TSN

This article is out of date.  For info good in 2018 go to TV Info.

Begins with Round 19 for USA and Canada

For the first time since 1997, the Australian Football League will be on an ESPN network in North America.  Following the demise of the sport on Setanta, the AFL has struck a deal for live coverage on ESPN360, limited coverage on ESPN2, and for Canada, on TSN and TSN2.  AFANA worked closely

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