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(Update: 9/23/14: Success! Coverage now begins at 11:00 PM in the US and Canada!) Note: We have been advised by the AFL that due to music rights guarantees and payment requested by Seven Network many international broadcasters including Fox Soccer Plus and TSN2 will be unable to show anything except the Grand Final game itself. This will mean coverage will be limited to 12:30 AM to 4:00 AM EDT in the US and Canada. See the petition here.

(Updated 9/21/14 to add changed WatchAFL start time. Updated 9/23/14 to change FSP  and TSN2 start times.) Fox Soccer Plus (FSP) in the USA and TSN2 in Canada will carry the Grand Final between Sydney and Hawthorn LIVE on Friday night / Saturday morning, September 26th / 27th.  US coverage on FSP will begin at 11:00 PM EDT Friday. Coverage will continue until 4:00 AM EDT Saturday concluding after the awards ceremony. First bounce is about 12:31 AM EDT. Canadian coverage on TSN2 will also begin at 11:00 PM EDT Saturday and run to 4:00 AM. If you have no access to any of the preceding options, the game will be live via the internet on WatchAFL (payment required) and you can sign up at this link. WatchAFL coverage will begin at 11:00 PM. Fans should check our TV Schedule page for details on the coverage and our TV Info page for more information on FSP and TSN2. For those looking for parties, see our listings on our Grand Final Party page. We will have a timeline of Grand Final Day events posted here. (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. Update 9/30/14: a repeat on Fox Sports 2 has been added at 10/1/14 5 PM EDT.)

Article last changed on Saturday, April 01, 2017 - 11:11 AM EDT


Comments

Posted by Jake (not verified) on September 22, 2014

I almost hesitate to ask (and this might not even be the right time/place for it), but I'm wondering how the AFL views WatchAFL. I'm guessing it's a good thing for the AFL to get TV deals like they have with Fox (and TSN), but I'm seriously considering dropping my Fox and FSP subscriptions after the Grand Final. The reason is WatchAFL... I get every game and it's cheaper. (And tied to this thread, the bonus of a pre-game show for the GF.) I think Fox has been great for the AFL. We get a lot of live games each round. And if not for outlets like this, it's hard for newcomers to "stumble across" the AFL like I did on ESPN some years back. However, is WatchAFL the AFL's road to the future? Does it lessen the need to sell games to sports networks around the world? I would think not... I'm guessing those rights fees are welcome cash for the AFL. But in my case, Fox is likely going to lose a subscriber in a week because of the better value I get from WatchAFL. Just kind of curious where WatchAFL fits into the plans of the AFL to grab people outside of Australia.

I almost hesitate to ask (and this might not even be the right time/place for it), but I'm wondering how the AFL views WatchAFL

Not really the right place. This should properly be in the Forum on Television but for now, I will leave it here until after the GF. The AFL view on WatchAFL is that it provides a service to those people (which they see as primarily ex-pats) around the world who can't get their footy any other way and they see it as a revenue source in the US and UK.

I'm guessing it's a good thing for the AFL to get TV deals like they have with Fox (and TSN), but I'm seriously considering dropping my Fox and FSP subscriptions after the Grand Final. The reason is WatchAFL... I get every game and it's cheaper. (And tied to this thread, the bonus of a pre-game show for the GF.)

It's really what works best for you. Cost is variable. Quality and reliability are variable. YMMV. In my local area, the cost per season of getting the Sports channel package on TWC is $8.99 per month x 8 months (Feb to Sep) or about $72. Much cheaper than WatchAFL. This season that got me about 50% of all AFL matches. If it was $15 a month it would be a wash. Canada is yet a different equation.

(Of course, being that I manage AFANA I had to pay for WatchAFL, too. And no, I don't get free subscriptions and no one pays for those expenses. Donations don't come close to covering the cost of running AFANA or the costs of our volunteer staff.)

I think Fox has been great for the AFL. We get a lot of live games each round. And if not for outlets like this, it's hard for newcomers to "stumble across" the AFL like I did on ESPN some years back.

FS2 has been great for fans to "stumble across" footy. FSP not so much. Losing MHz a few years ago was disastrous on the new fan discovery front. At the time MHz ended, it was responsible for 50% of the new fans registering at this web site. FSP has however, been incredible for serious fans of the sport. The coverage this year was the best we have ever had in the US. Better than some places in Australia. FS2 coverage has been big progress this season on the new fan front.

However, is WatchAFL the AFL's road to the future? Does it lessen the need to sell games to sports networks around the world? I would think not... I'm guessing those rights fees are welcome cash for the AFL. But in my case, Fox is likely going to lose a subscriber in a week because of the better value I get from WatchAFL. Just kind of curious where WatchAFL fits into the plans of the AFL to grab people outside of Australia..


I did a briefing at the AFL a decade ago and told them that premium cable or internet was the future of the sport in the US. Most in the room were incredulous. The intervening time has proven me right. Yes, internet delivery is probably the future. However, FSP and hopefully FS2 coverage will be with us until at least the end of 2016 by contract, and perhaps for awhile beyond that. Not that it couldn't change next week, as nothing in TV is ever 100% assured. The rights fees the AFL gets are the only reason it works at all for us because the telecasts lack sponsors and the ratings, while improved, are still very low.

The US is, sadly, seen by many in the AFL executive as a revenue source for TV and not much else. It is only in the past few years they even see it as a future source of players. They do not invest in marketing the sport here so were it not for AFANA, they would have no marketing here at all. The fact they get revenue here should be to our credit at AFANA but it hasn't so far. It further hurts that the AFL views the audience in North America as being 99% ex-pats. They are 90% wrong on that as the it is mostly Americans and Canadians who don't hold Australian passports.

TV and internet rights (Australia) negotiations for 2016 and beyond in Australia will open up in the next month or two. Once those are concluded sometime in 2015, then the AFL will look to the international situation with the US and the worldwide internet being top of the list. We'll get a much better answer to your question on the future role of WatchAFL after that.

-Rob
AFANA Chairman and Site Admin

Is there going to be no rebroadcast on Fox Sports 2 at all?? My cable guide goes to ten days in advance, and there's no listing for it as of today. I let my WatchAFL subscription go, since FS2 had games, so it'll cost me $20 to see the GF on there now as my cable company doesn't carry FSP.

Hi Fred, 

Sorry about your situation. It does not appear as if there will be even be a delayed repeat on FS2. We inquired and it's a no-go at this point. They did not do this last year either.

I'd add that our TV Info and TV Schedule pages have stated all year that the only GF coverage on broadcast TV was going to be FSP in the US. So, in that sense, nothing has changed. From my standpoint, I'd think at least a repeat would make sense but Fox wants to keep the live coverage in one place. Oh, and don't trust that cable guide... (yes, I've said that so many times over the past 20 years that everyone is sick of hearing me say it...)

-Rob
AFANA Chairman and Site Admin

What happened to Fox Sports 2 ????

The answer to the question you asked is: nothing. The GF was never on the FS2 schedule. All season long our TV info and TV schedules pages have said the only Grand Final coverage was on FSP.

The answer to the question you mean to ask is: Fox apparently intends to keep the GF for FSP only. We've asked about getting it on FS2 and have been told it "isn't on the schedule" which translates to "it isn't in the plans". I wish they would at least add a delayed repeat but apparently not.

-Rob
AFANA Chairman and Site Admin

Posted by Matthew (not verified) on September 25, 2014

So I'm not a regular here, but when I went to the official Grand Final page it says that the game is on FS2 not FSP. http://www.afl.com.au/tv-radio/broadcastguide.workstation Imagine my surprise when it's not on the guide and it keeps telling me that I need to upgrade my plan to record the game. And why would you put the preliminary final on FS1/FS2 and then the Grand Final on FSP? Talk about killing your audience and any chance to get casual fans in on the "Super Bowl" of your sport.

So I'm not a regular here, but when I went to the official Grand Final page it says that the game is on FS2 not FSP. http://www.afl.com.au/tv-radio/broadcastguide.workstation

"Official" maybe but it's wrong. We advised the AFL last night it had the date and time of the US coverage wrong - and it is still wrong. In fact, it has often had errors. We do tell the AFL most of the time and occasionally it gets corrected. As of right now, the coverage is on FSP and only on FSP. I trust our sources not theirs. Note that the AFL doesn't have the name of the Mexican network right or even list the French language coverage in Canada. We do.

Imagine my surprise when it's not on the guide and it keeps telling me that I need to upgrade my plan to record the game. And why would you put the preliminary final on FS1/FS2 and then the Grand Final on FSP? Talk about killing your audience and any chance to get casual fans in on the "Super Bowl" of your sport.


Do not trust on-screen guides, they often lag reality by days and correcting minor networks is low priority. The reasoning for putting the preliminary finals on FS2 was there were scheduling conflicts on FSP and by exposing fans there, they drive viewers to FSP to get more. I'd add that FSP is the "first" network for the AFL by contract. They are not obligated to show anything on FS2. Not that I find that logic compelling. It would be better if the game was simulcast on both [remember that while FS2 is widely available,  FS2-HD is not] or on tape delay on FS2 but so far, no. Yes, doing this with the Grand Final is not great for marketing the sport.

Who's telling you that you must upgrade? and to what? Your cable company? The AFL? Fox?

-Rob
AFANA Chairman and Site Admin

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