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Editorial and commentary from the Chairman of AFANA.

AFANA Needs Your Urgent Support - Will You Contribute?

You can help AFANA! We urgently need your financial support. Funds are running low.

AFANA is now in its 23rd year. One of the things we are forced to do periodically is to ask you for your financial support.  We need your support because we do this for fans but do so without the financial support of the AFL or other footy organizations. Please step up and help us in our efforts to continue to keep you informed about AFL coverage. If you benefit from the news and TV schedules we publish, or the assistance we give fans learning the sport or with coverage problems, please consider donating, as without it we can’t continue. (If you are among those who have already donated, please seek out another fan of the sport and encourage them to support us!)

Donate to AFANA and support footy in North America!

(Please note:  if you supported us recently, we thank you for your contribution!  We look forward to your future support. You do not need to join PayPal to use this link. Just use the donate "With a Debit or Credit Card link" in the lower half of the PayPal page. Donations of any amount accepted, and we love on-going monthly donations. )

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Initial Schedules for Finals Coverage in 2018 Posted

https://mbsy.co/lhBGw

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.

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Limited Time Offers to Footy Fans

Be sure to check the advertisements at the bottom of every page... We have special 10% discounts available if you need to buy authentic down under footy pies for your next get together and a special discount on your 2018 subscription to WatchAFL. For both use code afana18 in order to save 10% when you checkout! Give your friends a real Aussie experience as you introduce them to Aussie rules.

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Special Offers For Fans During Finals

We're pleased to offer fans two discount options for this year's finals. First, if you haven't subscribed to WatchAFL and plan to do so for the rest of the month or just for the Grand Final, you can save by using our link and the discount code AFANA when you complete your subscription:

WatchAFL at this link, use code AFANA for 10% off!

and if you need meat pies... you can save 10% on the pies, too. Click on the graphic below and use code AFANA17 when you check out::
   (Order by Friday the 22nd if you delivery by the Grand Final with standard shipping)



Receive 10% off your order on meat pies for the Grand Final with code AFANA17
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A Milestone for AFANA.com

In April 2006, AFANA debuted the current web platform for this web site. It was a radical change for us and a big step forward. We're pleased to say that this is the 10,000th article posted to the site since that time. We hope you've found our work valuable. Our team have lots of great content to bring you in the future. As we approach the 22nd Grand Final we have seen as an organization, we trust we have helped you Get Your Footy!

-Rob de Santos
Founder and former Chairman

-Paat Kelly
Chief Executive Officer
AFANA
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2017 North American TV Coverage Is Still Up In The Air

(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.
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New Leader of AFANA Announced

Effective immediately. Paat Kelly has been appointed President of AFANA. Mr. Kelly has already assumed his duties and is now responsible for the day to day management of AFANA. (Ed. note: Press release is linked at the bottom of this article.)

Last year, the organization announced that 2016 would be the last year co-founder and chairman, Rob de Santos, would lead the organization on a daily basis. Mr. Kelly has been part of the management team for over a decade and previously headed up the marketing and publicity for the organization as well as serving as a photo-journalist. Mr. de Santos said: "He understands our mission and the organization and will be a great leader of our effort to bring footy to North America. AFANA is in very capable hands."

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Australian Football on US Television in 2016 and the Future

(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):

Announcement on Future Direction of AFANA

AFANA issued the following statement today:

In accordance with the following notice, a search committee was formed today to plan the succession in leadership for AFANA from 2017. Members of that committee will be announced shortly. The committee will make further statements on its plans and progress at a later date.

On January 3rd, Chief Executive Officer Rob de Santos sent an official notice to the Board and the volunteer staff which read, in part:

Fellow AFANAns,

A new number is on my calendar and it repeats every day: 2016. AFANA is in its 21st year and it will, by all indications, be a year of change. ...

This will be my last full year of daily involvement with AFANA as 2017 will bring ... my relocation to another part of the globe.

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