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We have the following early news on AFL coverage for 2014 and beyond. The AFL issued a press release this week indicating it had completed a three year deal with Rightster to continue the AFL-TV internet service. Indications are that we will see some stability in the internet based TV coverage for the next several seasons. (Ed. note: We do not yet have updates on the broadcast coverage for 2014 however as Fox Sports continues as the rights holder for one more season,The broadcast situation has also been clarified. Fox now has a contract extension through the 2016 season. We do not expect any radical change from what we had the final six weeks of the 2013 season.) Here is the text of the press release. When more detailed information on cost, subscription plans, etc. are available in the first months of 2014, we will post that information.

"AFL & Rightster Announce Distribution Agreement for AFLTV

The AFL is pleased to announce a new multi-year agreement with Rightster - the digital video distribution, marketing and monetisation specialist - relating to the AFL’s international live streaming subscription service, AFLTV. The service, operated and built by Rightster on the AFL’s behalf, offers live and on-demand coverage of every Toyota AFL Premiership season match to fans all over the world, via AFLTV.

Throughout the 2013 Toyota AFL Premiership season, AFLTV reached thousands of fans in over 216 territories, delivering more than 2.5 million streams, including Hawthorn’s Grand Final win over Fremantle earlier this year.

The AFL and Rightster have reached agreement to cover the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Toyota AFL Premiership seasons. This will allow the development of a long-term strategy which will include additional features and content in order to further drive fan engagement.

General Manager - AFL Media, Peter Campbell, said: “We’re pleased to announce this agreement with Rightster as part of our ongoing commitment to international AFL fans. As the importance of digital platforms, fan engagement and digital revenue grows, we believe Rightster is the perfect partner to help us build our sport and business in this area. They offer us the transparency and control we feel is vital to success.”

Rightster CEO, Charlie Muirhead, said: “After a hugely successful first year, it’s fantastic that the AFL and Rightster have agreed to extend our relationship until 2016. Digital media has transformed the way sports fans view games and highlights, and engage with their sporting heroes. Leagues, Clubs and Federations are seeking new ways to understand and engage with fans whilst offering the excitement of sport to a growing online audience. At Rightster we’re working with sports brands to gather more audience data and insights across more channels. We look forward to continuing to deliver digital innovation and growth to the AFL and helping them take Australia’s Game to the world.”

The agreement will also see the AFL and Rightster work closely together to deliver added value to AFL commercial partners and explore other digital initiatives together."

More details in the new year.

Article last changed on Friday, January 31, 2014 - 1:19 PM EST


Comments

Posted by Jake (not verified) on December 10, 2013

Overall, I'm very happy with this. I bought the package last year and it was pretty good. I'll buy it again this year. Extra kudos that I can actually watch the games on my iPad now. We couldn't do that with the previous digital option. They did have some live streaming issues where the feed would hang, but the recorded versions were better. For a lot of us in North America, we'd be watching the recorded versions anyway because of the time difference. Still, it's something I hope they can work out. I recall having an issue during one live game and emailing Rightster. I was shocked to get a response less than five minutes later. There were people "manning the lines" as it were and trying to be on top of things. I think she said she was in the U.K. We chatted back and forth a bit, talking about different issues with the feeds. That was impressive to get immediate feedback. I do hope they can add more content. One thing I talked to them about was the lack of content we'd get pre-, post- and between quarters. They told me it was basically a rights issue, but I would hope they could work that out. Everyone who got tired of the highlights loop they'd play all the time knows what I mean. :) And if they could somehow get the rights to some of those great footy shows Australians get throughout the week (like On The Couch), I'd gladly pay even more each year. I realize that's dreaming a bit because of who owns the rights to those shows, but I'll continue to dream anyway. Still, even if nothing changed, I think I'd be content. Because of the service, I was able to see each of my team's games last year, and not miss any other interesting match-ups I wanted to see. Between Rightster and FSP, life was really good last season.

Hello, AFANA... Note on the 3 Year Renewal: For those fans in the USA and Canada that follows the AFL, most of the AFL teams this year are offering an International Membership that includes this service. For North Melbourne (my team) as well as Carlton and Sydney (Lisa Albergo's teams), the price is relatively inexpensive at $150 AUS ($140 US) or monthly installments of $15 AUS ($14 US). I have already done that for 2014 and I encourage the fans of AFANA to do so. You can look it up on most of the websites under Membership and then in the International Membership section.

Hi David,

If you are looking for the link for the combination deal that may only be available at the AFL / AFL-TV sites.  I doubt they have it at the Swans web site. Perhaps Alex can post the link he found. In a few weeks when we have final details on the 2014 AFL-TV packages we will post a full set of links.

-Rob
AFANA Chairman Emeritus and Site Admin

Posted by Rick Dawes (not verified) on January 06, 2014

Really, really glad to hear this news. I've been a critic of some of the previous media rights decisions by the afl in the past, but this isn't one of them! I loved the professional way that Rightster performed last season ( quality was great, replays were almost always immediately available, etc)! To know there is the stability of a 3 year contract for these rights is great. Thanks for this update
Posted by Tony (not verified) on January 30, 2014

I have been a subscriber for a few years now and will be again in 2014. I actually emailed the AFLTV folks to ask if they had considered making the service able to stream via Google Chromecast. They told me they had tested it and it worked well but couldn't "offically" tell me when it might be available. I hope they can add this feature or even make it availble as a Roku channel, that would be awesome. Maybe if we hit them up with some chatter about this they will listen.

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