Foxtel, Seven and Telstra in new $1.25bn agreement with the AFL

29 April, 2011 by Sam Dallas

Foxtel, Channel Seven and Telstra rose above the pack yesterday and came out on top of the ladder in the bid for AFL broadcasting rights for the next five years.

The massive $1.25 billion deal will see every game broadcast live and uninterrupted on Foxtel (and Austar where applicable) for the first time ever, and four out of nine games – and all finals – will be broadcast on Channel Seven.


Under the deal which starts next year, Seven can off-sell any of its four matches to other free-to-air broadcasters such as Nine or Ten.

Also, Telstra will broadcast all matches – including finals – using their Next G service, allowing footy fans to view games on mobile phones and iPads.

The agreement – touted as "the richest in Australian sports history" – was welcomed by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

“Greater use of digital multi-channels is ensuring more access to live or near-live coverage of matches and this will be welcomed by fans,” Conroy said in a statement.

“I’m also pleased to see greater use of new technologies with the agreement ensuring all games are shown live on Telstra mobiles, T-Boxes and tablets.”

Conroy added the broadcasting agreement was consistent with reforms to the anti-siphoning scheme announced by the government last year, with legislative amendments expected to be introduced into Parliament shortly.

Kim Williams, CEO of Foxtel – which will re-establish a dedicated AFL channel, said it put the viewer “firmly in control of their television viewing”.

“This is a great day for Australian sports fans who love the AFL because for the first time they will be able to see every game of the AFL live, get real choice over which network to watch their team on, and they’ll have the option of watching AFL games on their mobiles, personal computer, Microsoft Xbox 360 or Telstra T-box,” he said in a statement.

Under the new AFL broadcasting agreement:
• showpiece matches on Friday and Saturday nights will be shown live or near live across most regions of Australia;
• on free-to-air television, Friday night football will be telecast live into Victoria, QLD, NSW, the ACT and Tasmania, near live into SA and on a reduced delay into WA due to the time zone difference;
• supporters in South Australia are guaranteed of being able to see the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide on free-to-air television for all their clubs’ matches;
• West Australian fans will see all matches of West Coast and Fremantle;
• Queensland fans will see all matches of the Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns;
• New South Wales footy fans will see all Sydney Swans and the GWS Giants.