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