AFL’s TV deal choking NRL, Socceroos

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By thom_canberra, thom_canberra is a Roar Rookie

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    Television rights are one of the most important features of a professional sports league’s success. Valuations for different codes are being grossly misjudged, to suit the hidden agendas of a few vested interests.

    Sports such as rugby league and football are suffering and being undermined by stakeholders such as Foxtel and the AFL, all to suit the AFL’s aspirations for a billion-dollar TV rights deal.

    The AFL is working very hard on convincing everyone that they deserve a billion-dollar TV deal and are almost succeeding with Victorian journalists like Caroline Wilson and numerous others giving just about any excuse to justify the AFL’s demands.

    Recently Citigroup’s valuation of estimated the deal’s worth to be under a billion dollars, warning broadcasters would not be able to an investment of that scale over five years. The AFL product just doesn’t give back what it claims.

    The AFL wants to think it is number one in the sporting landscape and along with this, thinks a billion dollars would justify a domestic league with little international interest.

    Foxtel, on the other hand, is looking at this from a different point of view, but with the same ends in mind. It suits their agenda to boast of the AFL’s importance and support other channels footing the bill.

    The Murdoch family’s increasing control of free-to-air channels is a serious conflict of interest. Foxtel will inevitably come out on top, Seven and Ten shareholders will not.

    Foxtel currently sits on some of the most valuable sports content in Australia and it isn’t AFL. The NRL is one of Foxtel’s most important sporting assets, with weekly rugby league earning the strongest ratings of most Foxtel shows.

    Only one match of the NRL is played live on free-to-air per weekend and Foxtel has a huge hold on NRL viewers with Saturday night and Monday night fixtures getting huge, exclusive viewership. AFL has up to five matches per week on free-to-air, some screened live depending on where you live. The NRL’s three games on the same station, two of which are delayed and full of ads, does not compare.

    The NRL isn’t getting the TV rights deal it deserves with superior television content, Monday night matches, State-of-Origin, internationals and interest from England. The AFL has none of these things bar a small friendly with Ireland that is barely covered. Nothing compared to a rugby league test or World Cup.

    The Socceroos are the other cash-cow for Foxtel, making up some of the broadcaster’s highest rating programs. The highest-ever rating Foxtel recorded was for a Socceroos fixture against Uzbekistan in 2009. A pay-television company getting exclusive rights to all international matches is just about unheard of in any other country ranked in FIFA’s top 30 country.

    Again we can see Foxtel undermining the support and popularity of the Socceroos by focusing on the AFL and hoping the Socceroos will go unnoticed.

    Rugby league and football revenues are being leeched by those who like to play up AFL interests. Foxtel is happy to go along with the AFL groupies and praise the competition, a press conference from Foxtel CEO Kim Williams being one example of Foxtel singing the AFL’s praise and hoping NRL would go unnoticed.

    If Foxtel and others succeed in convincing everyone that the AFL is worth a lot more than NRL in terms of TV rights, they will not have to cough up for their monopoly on the competition and face the reality that rugby league is actually is highly valuable and a vital asset. Same goes for Socceroos fixtures.

    It suits the AFL’s agenda, as they are obviously looking out for their own and want as much money as possible. When it comes to the AFL modesty doesn’t exist, just ask those Gaelic players who are swept from their local county teams in Ireland to earn big dollars and turn their backs on their cultural homeland.

    The real losers in a new billion-dollar AFL rights deal won’t be Foxtel, who would probably have to fork out a modest supplementary amount to cover their ideal situation, but free-to-air channels Seven and Ten who will be sucked dry by the AFL to get little back for paying ridiculous amounts of money.

    Seven and Ten will lose much of their valuable content to provide for the AFL as can be seen already in recent boardroom moves to cut back spending and reshuffle priorities.

    Seven has already ruled out bidding for the highly popular MasterChef Australia program to focus on bidding for the AFL and not upset the Murdoch family, according to AAP.

    Seven are being bled dry and in terms of alternative sporting content, rugby union looks to fade in the background.

    Ten will be lacking funds to cover their sports-exclusive OneHD channel, which will be reformatted to feature a wider range of male-specific content. This is all to provide for the AFL and current Murdoch reign on the company.

    Seven and Ten will be paying for Foxtel’s slice, as Foxtel want free-to-air to keep much of AFL coverage. Williams stated in the previously mentioned press conference that Foxtel do not want to cover AFL exclusively and can’t imagine bidding for all AFL games.

    He also said that it was important for the AFL to be shown on free-to-air as it increased exposure – exposure lacking in A-League and Super Rugby, to which Foxtel has exclusive rights.

    This seems like a strategic plan as Foxtel will retain some important live AFL games that aren’t covered by free-to-air, but won’t be paying nearly as much as Seven and Ten for their content of 4 or 5 weekly games that might not even be exclusive.

    Foxtel are happy to have the weekly Richmond or Port Adelaide home game and the occasional Collingwood, St. Kilda or Geelong blockbuster.

    So what is the point of paying one billion dollars over five years for one league, no other content, no highly marketable content or international interest? Even the A-League sells highlights packages to 110 countries through Foxtel and I doubt the AFL gets half that coverage internationally.

    The A-League are desperate for domestic growth and exposure, while Foxtel are arguing to keep exclusive coverage in the next round of negotiations for Australia’s premier association football competition.

    The A-League and Super Rugby are the competitions in most need of free-to-air television exposure but Foxtel will argue how the sports will suffer if a measly one match a week is show on free-to-air.

    It is totally hypocritical that Foxtel should defend AFL’s right to free-to-air coverage when it has so much exposure in Melbourne newspapers and television shows, while strangling the sports of rugby and football which are in a constant battle for media attention and public interest.

    Free-to-air stations should be focusing on multiple sports broadcasting as it widens their demographic and gets more interest from the corporate world. If Seven and Ten can’t realise they are being cheated, and the NRL and FFA can’t demand what they deserve, only AFL will prosper.

    This also relates to the theory recently discussed on The Roar, that with so much focus on the AFL domestically, our international sports results are suffering.

    It disappoints me to see Seven losing interest in rugby and Ten not broadcasting A-League matches. Nine are bad enough at broadcasting overseas cricket, so if they got involved with the Socceroos or the Rugby World Cup, it would hopefully be a broadcast of a high standard.

    In this confusing landscape of sports broadcasting, self-interested minorities are trying to deceive the rest of the nation and other sporting codes. Rugby league, football and rugby union all need to take a stand against the Foxtel-Murdoch monopoly and ask for what they deserve.

    Statistics don’t lie, nor do business assessments, so hopefully the nation won’t be turned upside down for a billion-dollar AFL deal that benefits no-one else.

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    The Crowd Says (323)

    • April 11th 2011 @ 7:52am
      pike64 said | April 11th 2011 @ 7:52am | ! Report

      many aussies are now multi sport followers. it is about time the tv stations realised this and catered for it. the old my sport is best and everything else is crap and doesn’t deserve to exist ‘sport’ fan is disappearing into the annals of history. one can’t help but ponder if the low crowds in the AFL to this stage has got something to do with the arrogant contempt the AFL treat other sports that they deem as opposition. in particular demetriou’s treatment of the Australia’s football world cup bid where he clearly put the AFL’s agenda ahead of the nations. there are so many channels now that FTA tv has no excuse. get on board. Australia has grown. FTA tv needs to grow with it.

      • Roar Guru

        April 11th 2011 @ 9:28am
        Redb said | April 11th 2011 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        What low crowds?

        Let’s look at this weekend just gone.

        and 3 crowds in the low 20’s. Most codes in Australia would love to have 5 crowds above 30,000 in a single round.

        Total approx 320,000 average 40,000 per game.

        • April 11th 2011 @ 9:43am
          Alex said | April 11th 2011 @ 9:43am | ! Report

          Its not just about crowd numbers its about tv viewership ratings and so far NRL has way outnumbered AFL.

          Thats where the money is and thats where NRL is being lied to.

          The AFL will brag about how many mad Melbourne ppl attended a match but when they are as boring as they are no one seems to care.

          10,000 football fans make the same amount of noise as 80,000 AFL fans.

          • Roar Guru

            April 11th 2011 @ 9:57am
            Redb said | April 11th 2011 @ 9:57am | ! Report

            Well Alex, that’s not right.

            The AFL out rates the NRL and even the Roy Masters of the world acknowledge this despite having two less rounds of football.

            You have obviously never been to an AFL game with 80,000, they may not inanely chant but when the game cranks up you can’t hear yourself.

            Two opportunities in the next 2 weeks for the naysayers to get an AFL education:

            Carlton V Essendon next Saturday

            Collingwood V Essendon on Anzac Day.

            Both will rock the MCG, see if you can make it.

            • April 11th 2011 @ 10:13am
              oikee said | April 11th 2011 @ 10:13am | ! Report

              The problem is North of the border Redb, no honestly, more people will be caring about Warriors Storm clash out of Melbourne, ANZAC day, a true Anzac Clash.
              And then we have the ANZAC day test.
              This is the problem, nobody north feels a connection to the AFL clash. True story.

              • April 11th 2011 @ 10:20am
                Fake ex-AFL fan said | April 11th 2011 @ 10:20am | ! Report

                And the problem is Oikee that this doesn’t matter. As I point out elsewhere, if either the AFL or NRL were consistently dominant across all states then we wouldn’t be discussing a $1billion rights deal, we’d be talking about something north of $1.5 billion over five years. Truer story.

              • April 14th 2011 @ 9:34pm
                woodsman said | April 14th 2011 @ 9:34pm | ! Report

                ‘North of the boarder’- should read ‘much of the strip of land along the far East of Australia’. Your ‘cardinal-sin’ ignores the fact that the majority of the continent and NZ has no interest in your dull British code.

            • April 11th 2011 @ 1:38pm
              Bale3 said | April 11th 2011 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

              TV viership is different to crowds, the argument is of TV viewership.

              You are just hashing on about crowds.

              & both you and Roy Masters know that NRL gets better TV ratings than AFL, particularly for Foxtel.

          • April 11th 2011 @ 10:09am
            me, I like football said | April 11th 2011 @ 10:09am | ! Report

            Rugby League does not get more viewers than the AFL

            • Roar Guru

              April 11th 2011 @ 10:39am
              Redb said | April 11th 2011 @ 10:39am | ! Report


              TV ratings from Friday Night AFL v NRL both live for once and the AFL romped home. NSW/QLD on huge delay for the AFL game. So it was tradtional market v tradtional market.

              • April 11th 2011 @ 11:04am
                oikee said | April 11th 2011 @ 11:04am | ! Report

                Redb, what do you mean the AFL romped home, you do realise that the NRL have 2 games on a friday nite.
                I watched 2 games of NRL on Friday nite. So give me the figures mate. Veiwing figures for both games of NRL verses 1 game of AFL.

                Also i watch 4 games of NRL on Saturday afternoon nite, all live on Fox. You got those figures up against AFL.
                Who are watching these afl games on saturday nite when rugby league has 2 blockbusters live from NZ.
                Warriors and junior warriors are much watxch t/v.

              • Roar Guru

                April 11th 2011 @ 11:28am
                The_Wookie said | April 11th 2011 @ 11:28am | ! Report

                Nine’s Live Friday Night Football Nine 681,000 455,000 *** 225,000 *** ***
                Nine’s Friday Night Football Nine 328,000 214,000 *** 114,000 *** ***

                Given this is two matches, that are reversed in Brisbane and Sydney after the first game.
                its actually

                Nines Friday match 1: 559,000 – 455,000, 114,000
                Nines Friday match 2: 439,000 – 214,000, 225,000

                Ill take that up against one live AFL match
                Seven’s AFL: Rnd 3: Collingwood Vs Carlton Seven 784,000 11,000 488,000 4,000 153,000 129,000

                Live: NRL Warriors V Roosters Fox Sports 2 168,000
                Live: NRL Panthers V Raiders Fox Sports 2 144,000
                NRL Sharks V Sea Eagles Fox Sports 2 76,000

                Ill take your 3 games and show you 4 that outrated all 3 games.

                Saturday Night AFL Ten 500,000 55,000 246,000 29,000 45,000 125,000
                Saturday Afternoon AFL Ten 391,000 29,000 182,000 48,000 46,000 86,000
                Live: AFL West Coast V Sydney Fox Sports 1 175,000
                Live: AFL Adelaide V Fremantle Fox Sports 1 150,000

              • April 11th 2011 @ 1:04pm
                oikee said | April 11th 2011 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

                I just added up your friday nite game, the NRL outrated it easily.

                2 million for nrl friday nite in 3 states withour being played until midnite in other states.

                AFL, = 1.569 live into all states.

                I have said all along, the Melbourne Storm not being shown live into Melbourne when they are playing is a injustice to sports fans. This team is one of the most exciting teams world sports, forget about Melbourne. 🙂

                State of Origin then kicks up a few gears. 🙂 You are kidding right.

                The Warriors game on pay t/v nearly out-rated 2 games on free to air.

              • April 11th 2011 @ 1:18pm
                oikee said | April 11th 2011 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

                Sorry, those 2 games were on fox, the AFL games, even so, you would have to add on the NZ veiwers, their would have been a few for the warriors game over their.
                This is what AFL fans keep neglecting, NZ veiwers on Sky sports or FTA.
                Next time calculate all veiwers.

              • April 11th 2011 @ 3:36pm
                Whites said | April 11th 2011 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

                Don’t forget the good old regional markets.

                The first game had 470,000 viewers live across northernNSW, southerNSW, regionalQLD and delayed in regionalVIC. Sorry, can’t break out the 2 games.


              • April 11th 2011 @ 3:44pm
                Sherrin-Burley-Faulkner said | April 11th 2011 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

                Not to be rude whites, but quite simply most states that follow the AFL have NO regional ratings, they are simply not counted.

              • April 11th 2011 @ 5:00pm
                Whites said | April 11th 2011 @ 5:00pm | ! Report

                Regional NSW and QLD combined are bigger advertising markets then Perth and Adelaide combined.


              • April 11th 2011 @ 6:38pm
                Magpie Flag said | April 11th 2011 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

                A new level of blatant grasping in deluded hope from Oikee

                the AFL averaged 784,000, from 7 30 to 10 30 (in melbourne at least)

                the NRL averaged 681,000 from 7 30 to 9 30

                then fell to 328,00 in the second game from 9 30 to 11 30

              • April 11th 2011 @ 8:21pm
                Dogz R Barkn said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

                Magpie Flag
                our northern friends need to understand the concept of volume.

                So according to your figures, the AFL volume of ratings equals about 2.35 million
                while the NRL volume of ratings on the same night equals a touch above 2 million.

                That’s a good result for the NRL, no worries there, but it took two games to get close to the one AFL game.

              • April 12th 2011 @ 2:31pm
                Sanchez8686 said | April 12th 2011 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

                on the friday night point…compare matches from the week before carlton and collingwood.

              • April 13th 2011 @ 10:57am
                JVGO said | April 13th 2011 @ 10:57am | ! Report

                Wasn’t this the biggest regular season matchup of the year? The equivalent of an SOO for the AFL, the biggest crowd expecgtations, hence an absolute top rater and absolutely as good as it gets?

              • April 16th 2011 @ 3:51pm
                db swannie said | April 16th 2011 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

                AFL spanked again in the Fri night ratings..2 cities V 5 cities.
                Thats without 4-500K regionals to be added yet.

                10 Nine’s Live Friday Night Football Nine 760,000 511,000 *** 249,000 *** ***

                13 Seven’s AFL: Rnd 4: Richmond V Collingwood Seven 634,000 8,000 436,000 9,000 101,000 81,000

                19 Nine’s Friday Night Football Nine 481,000 341,000 *** 140,000 *** ***

          • April 26th 2011 @ 3:57pm
            John (syd fc and swans member) said | April 26th 2011 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

            Bit of myth that. Singing may paper over the lulls better in football, but I’ve never attended a football game that can match the sound of a large afl crowd in a close game. Everyone just is screaming when afl is at its most intense and the noise overlaps around the ground until it’s deafening. Closest I’ve experienced was the uruguay qualifier, but that had 80k and ive attended games with 40k fans that beat it. Watch the last 5 mins of last nights freo game to see what kind of sound even only 40k fans can make.

        • April 11th 2011 @ 10:18pm
          Parkridge Panther said | April 11th 2011 @ 10:18pm | ! Report

          Redb: and the point is?? The writer is talking about TV and ratings. You comment is irelevent.

          • Roar Guru

            April 12th 2011 @ 7:49am
            Redb said | April 12th 2011 @ 7:49am | ! Report

            I was not resonding to the author but this comment above:

            “one can’t help but ponder if the low crowds in the AFL to this stage has got something to do with the arrogant contempt the AFL treat other sports that they deem as opposition”

            Works better when you follow the flow of comments.

    • April 11th 2011 @ 7:56am
      Checkside said | April 11th 2011 @ 7:56am | ! Report

      This should have been filed under NRL. it’s an anti-AFL rant. The facts are simple. AFL is Australia’s most valuable football code by a country mile. Even with Origin games and a longer home and away season, NRL can’t attract the same viewing numbers let alone a truly national audience. It is also a business that competes against other codes for everything from sponsors to bums on seats. In the NRL’s case, many bums, few people.
      If the AFL can get $1billion for the rights it deserves to. It’s up to the other codes to lift their game/s.
      In five years the AFL may regret having sold them that cheaply.
      So … form a coherent argument. This comment piece doesn’t stack up.

      • April 11th 2011 @ 10:34am
        oikee said | April 11th 2011 @ 10:34am | ! Report

        I have long argued that the NRL rights are worth 1.5 billion. State of origin is australias premier sporting event, so 3 grand finals, watched by over 120 countries live worldwide.
        Also they make 50 million from the Toyota cup for only 2 games, i myself would like to see at least 4 games, one Friday nite on Fox, and one Monday nite. Thats 100 million right there for a youth comp.

        The veiwing numbers for Origin are enormous, with or without Melbourne. Must see event. 🙂

        • Roar Guru

          April 11th 2011 @ 11:30am
          The_Wookie said | April 11th 2011 @ 11:30am | ! Report

          2 games that rate…30,000 LIVE. I wonder how much the AFL is getting for the Foxtel Cup.

          • April 11th 2011 @ 5:20pm
            oikee said | April 11th 2011 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

            Last night’s State of Origin match on Nine, which was the first time an Australian free-to-air TV network aired a program in 3D, was also the most-watched show in the year so far, reaching a peak Australian audience of an estimated 4.2m viewers

            ACT – Live on WIN TV from 7:30pm
            NSW – Live on Channel Nine, WIN TV, NBN TV and Imparja, all from 7:30pm
            NT – Live on Channel Nine and Imparja, both from 7:00pm
            Queensland – Live on Channel Nine, WIN TV, NBN TV and Imparja, all from 7:30pm
            SA – Delayed on Channel Nine from 9:30pm, Live on Imparja from 7:00pm
            Tasmania – Live on WIN TV from 7:30pm
            Victoria – Live on Channel Nine, WIN TV and Imparja, all from 7:30pm
            Western Australia – Delayed on Channel Nine and WIN TV from 9:30pm
            NEW ZEALAND
            Live on SkyNZ (Sky Sports 2) at 9:30pm
            UNITED KINGDOM
            Live on Sky Sports at 10:30am (GMT)
            Live on Dahlia TV at 11:30am
            Live on Setanta Ireland at 10:30am (GMT)
            Live on ‘NTV plus Sport’ (please check local guides for times)
            Live on Setanta Sports at 5:30am (ET)
            Delayed (Saturday) on America One at 9:00pm (ET)
            Live on showtime throughout Arab countries.
            Live PNG.
            Live Sentata Asia
            Also more countries added this year.

            • April 12th 2011 @ 1:08pm
              captain nemo said | April 12th 2011 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

              I watch state of Origin live in Hong Kong when I am there, I have watched it in Cardiff and in San Fransisco, In honky it never gets the attention of Bledisloe but it is healthy enough, the time I watched it was a few years back, a few local rugger buggers were watching it for the big hits. Still off the radar internationally but it is there

            • August 2nd 2011 @ 7:19am
              william 11 said | August 2nd 2011 @ 7:19am | ! Report

              and association footbal still beats you shown in 200 countries

        • April 11th 2011 @ 4:00pm
          Big Rig said | April 11th 2011 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

          120 Countries watching State of Origin??? You;ve got to be kidding. So, you’re saying millions of people from Buenas Aires to Cape Town, from London to New York, from Tokyo to Cairo are saying to each other “well bob, we’ve got to watch State of Origin tonight’. Dream on. No one outside of Australia, and some places of NZ know what State of Origin is. As for it being Australia’a premier sporting event, that’s rubbish as well – it would probably rank 10th in a top ten, behind the Melbourne Cup, Australian Open, AFL Grand Final, Boxing Day test, Bledisloe Cup…the list goes on and on…

          • April 11th 2011 @ 5:05pm
            JP said | April 11th 2011 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

            So true. I did not even know what rugby league was let alone state of origin and im a rugby nut from South Africa (Cape Town). Some AFL games are shown on a highlights package here, no rugby league or state of origin.

          • April 11th 2011 @ 5:31pm
            james said | April 11th 2011 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

            I watched the 2009 State of origin in barcelona!!!

          • April 11th 2011 @ 5:33pm
            oikee said | April 11th 2011 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

            State of Origin has been broadcast overseas for over a decade, it has a huge following weather you like to think so or not.
            If you watch Origin you will hear Rabs Warren say welcome to our friends from (the station and countries), and he lists every live station. He does this every year.

            JP, i am not sure what goes on with South Africa, obviously a country with its nose out of joint with rugby league.

            • April 11th 2011 @ 6:15pm
              Bill Baxter said | April 11th 2011 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

              Ray Warren under orders from his master forgets to mention that viewers in States other than NSW and Queensland do not receive anything like live coverage of SOO games and his welcome is not addressed to us!!!!

          • April 11th 2011 @ 11:00pm
            Australian Football: Central Coast Represent said | April 11th 2011 @ 11:00pm | ! Report

            State of Origin is one of many original Australian Football ideas which Rugby (League) desided that it’s a good idea and sure enough copies it. AFL State of Origin consisted of as many as 8 teams (Vic, Tas, SA, WA, NT, Qld, Nsw and ACT) and was invented in 1977. The reason why it didn’t last was because people were more iunterested in the AFL itself. 3 years later Rugby (League) has the same idea, ironic?

            • April 12th 2011 @ 4:07am
              betamax said | April 12th 2011 @ 4:07am | ! Report

              I’m sorry, how is that ironic?

          • April 12th 2011 @ 1:25am
            Queensland's game is rugby league said | April 12th 2011 @ 1:25am | ! Report

            “No one outside of Australia, and some places of NZ know what State of Origin is.” — Big Rig
            I guess that’s why State of Origin is the most watched event in Papua New Guinea, which is a country that holds rugby league as its national sport, right?

            You don’t know anything.

            “So true.” — JP

            You’re just as uneducated as the other bloke.

        • August 2nd 2011 @ 2:06am
          The main game said | August 2nd 2011 @ 2:06am | ! Report

          State of Origin in 2 states and always is 2 states.

          Its not a national event!!!! My god no one gives about this state of origin thing but NSW and QLD. Can any of you NRL lot get this in your brains. It may be on but no one is watching it, except you 2. The rest of Australia is watching a sport that involves them. AFL is this countries indigenous sport.

      • April 12th 2011 @ 1:23am
        Queensland's game is rugby league said | April 12th 2011 @ 1:23am | ! Report

        “. The facts are simple. AFL is Australia’s most valuable football code by a country mile”

        Since when has Aussie rules football been anything more than a minority sport in Queensland and NSW?

        • April 14th 2011 @ 9:36pm
          woodsman said | April 14th 2011 @ 9:36pm | ! Report

          From inception to about 1916.

          • April 25th 2011 @ 6:28pm
            Wiliam 11 said | April 25th 2011 @ 6:28pm | ! Report

            Sorry Woodman, But N.S.L. (National Soccer league) was the first National Football comp The AFL was formed out of that decocratic lot then known as the V.F.L…….In 1916 you were the V.F.L……

    • Roar Guru

      April 11th 2011 @ 8:00am
      The_Wookie said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:00am | ! Report

      Another day, another “lets blame the AFL for all the worlds issues” article.

      Wait business assessments dont lie, but foxtel are what exactly? a hippy commune? Foxtel exist to make money. In fact given who there shareholders are, and given that by law they must make all efforts to make money…what exactly is your point?Antisiphoning legislation will already put the Socceroos back on FTA, and probably weaken the amount of money that Fox is willing to pay at the same time without its exclusive access to them. Likewise the NRL will be getting the same protections as the AFL under the same legislation.

      Foxtel wants as much AFL content as it can get for one reason, the southern and western states are the areas where Foxtel penetration is at its lowest.In 2008 when the last deal had been done, Kim Williams claimed that penetrations was up to 25-40% lower in the WA/SA/Vic region. Its believed that this is due to the ability to get all matches live or close to it for AFL teams in perth and adelaide, as well as the number of games available on FTA in melbourne.

      They arent going to hoard stuff – and offer to increase the amount they are paying by 70 million a year for it if the latest reports are to be believed – if they didnt think it would make them money. Last time Foxtel got what they wanted they created the only channel on foxtel dedicated to one sport…fox footy. I havent seen soccer or nrl channels. Foxtel executives argued last time that ratings isnt the driver behind Paytv finance, its subscriptions, and the odds of getting new subscriptions.

      Likewise, the AFL sells papers and media in 4 out of 7 states and territories. If its not the broadcasts themselves, its stuff happening around the sport. If its not that, its the perceived wars with other sporting codes. Further Why would Foxtel give a hoot about the AFLs free to air coverage.

      Ooo lets go after the gaelic players, like they are the only people from overseas who come here and ignore their cultural heritage. There was an article recently that bemoaned the fact that there are more kiwis than queenslanders now in the NRL. Hmm what about the “marquee” players so loved of the A-league?

      Rugby leagues deal was done prior to the AFLs last time and they were over the moon with it, as it was considered a record deal for the NRL…that feeling lasted until the AFL deal was done and they’ve done nothing but cry about it ever since. Union made its own bed with Foxtel, and Seven, no one forced them into it. The A-league chased the money because it had no choice and so it too became a slut for cash and ended up with foxtel…in the process signing a 7 year deal. The A-league could go on free to air tomorrow if money wasnt a consideration. Soccer made its bed, it can lie in it.

      No the big worry they have is that without OneHD bidding anymore, that its going to end up a take it or leave it situation once the AFL deal is done. And then after the NRL deal is done…sports like the V8s and soccer have to take whatevers left I think Crickets current deals expire soon as well so theres that too. Thats the future you’ve got to worry about.

    • Roar Guru

      April 11th 2011 @ 8:04am
      Redb said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      “so hopefully the nation won’t be turned upside down for a billion-dollar AFL deal that benefits no-one else.”

      You dont speak for the ‘nation’.

      • April 11th 2011 @ 1:30pm
        Bale3 said | April 11th 2011 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

        Not like AFL speaks for the nation either…

        Redb you sound like you’re just criticising the article without contributing to the discussion in an intellectual way. Maybe you should try and be more constructive?

        Denying Rugby, Rugby League and Football their respective media space and attention all to promote the AFL dictatorship is a joke.

        • April 11th 2011 @ 1:34pm
          me, I like football said | April 11th 2011 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

          Dictatorship? the AFL is the most democratic of all sporting bodies. And the people have spoken.

          • April 11th 2011 @ 1:41pm
            Bale3 said | April 11th 2011 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

            Hah, tell that to Tasmanians who were overlooked for an AFL team in favour of western Sydney.

            The AFL is the most democratic of all sporting bodies? Please explain.
            You must work for the organisation to say something as ridiculous as that.

            • April 12th 2011 @ 9:28am
              me, I like football said | April 12th 2011 @ 9:28am | ! Report

              Club members having voting rights which can vary depending on the club. The clubs vote for AFL commisioners and can veto AFL decisions with 75% of the vote.

          • April 25th 2011 @ 12:16pm
            International said | April 25th 2011 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

            HA?? The code that doesn’t even have the teams facing each other an equal number of times throughout a season to better suit a couple of the ‘bigger clubs’ needs is democratic? Well if that what the people are saying then the people are fools…

          • April 25th 2011 @ 6:22pm
            Wiliam 11 said | April 25th 2011 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

            Democratic? A legue series that is lob sided so no all teams play each other on even playing feilds, so games are not even played , some teams are dsadvataged in the there home/away game ratios,
            And the draft it looks more like a slave market, Democratic my foot league has become a circius.

        • Roar Guru

          April 11th 2011 @ 1:49pm
          MyLeftFoot said | April 11th 2011 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

          But Bale3, who is denying rugby and soccer? Who is to blame?

          The commercial FTA networks will go where the numbers are, they aren’t going to pull out blank cheques just because you think they ought to.

          In relation to media space, soccer fans appear to forget that a Government owned broadcaster has been pushing soccer, at taxpayer expense, to the exclusion of all other sports, for 30 years now.

          That’s actually more of a scandal than a privately owned company spending its own money to further its own business interests.

          • April 11th 2011 @ 3:10pm
            Titus said | April 11th 2011 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

            Why is there more AFL on FTA in Sydney than NRL, Rugby and Football combined?

            Certainly isn’t because the numbers are there.

            SBS is catering for a sport that is the most popular participation sport in the country, a national team that is hugely popular and a multi-cultural audience that would otherwise be ignored.

            A Current Affair may get more viewers than SBS world news, but thank god SBS is there.

            • April 11th 2011 @ 4:43pm
              Sherrin-Burley-Faulkner said | April 11th 2011 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

              Tax payer funded soccer service, that is SBS.

              • April 11th 2011 @ 7:08pm
                Titus said | April 11th 2011 @ 7:08pm | ! Report

                SBS is the best channel hands down. SBS and ABC have the best doco’s, comedy shows, movies, sports, News and current affairs etc.

                Maybe we could add that the billion dollars is choking Australian drama/comedy on the commercial stations and that its populist nature has made its News and current affairs so bad that they provide a dis-service to Australia. Any Australian Comedy, Drama or current affairs that is even remotely good started on SBS or ABC.

                Yes thankfully they also show soccer, otherwise we wouldn’t have access to the worlds greatest game because the commercial stations deem it not popular enough.

              • Roar Rookie

                April 11th 2011 @ 9:53pm
                Trust Me said | April 11th 2011 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

                SBS – Sex Before Soccer

            • April 11th 2011 @ 6:07pm
              betamax said | April 11th 2011 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

              True Titus. I have often wondered that myself. Supply definitely exceeds demand with AFL on TV in the northern states.

              • Roar Guru

                April 12th 2011 @ 7:57am
                Redb said | April 12th 2011 @ 7:57am | ! Report

                What makes you think it would be any different if NRL was shown in the southern states?

    • April 11th 2011 @ 8:17am
      Dave said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      This ‘article’ is an absolute joke.
      Foxtel and free to air channels are Australian and only show content primarily to Australians.
      AFL is the most lucrative sport in Australia and so deserves the biggest billing.
      How many supporters go to rugby matches across Australia during the season? How many people outside of NSW and QLD even know what rugby is and if they do – do they even care?
      Is the AFL grand final the biggest TV event?

      You need to have a good hard look at your rubbish article – the only reason rugby is on foxtel and tv so much in NSW/QLD is because of the owners of those networks also own those sports in Australia.

      • April 11th 2011 @ 10:26am
        captain nemo said | April 11th 2011 @ 10:26am | ! Report

        Dave states “How many supporters go to rugby matches across Australia during the season? How many people outside of NSW and QLD even know what rugby is and if they do – do they even care?”
        when you say rugby my untravelled friend I am assuming you are talking about rugby union, simple answer mate, outside of NSW and QLD a fair size of the planet. You are showing your Vic mentality here of a guy who has probably only been to the gold coast and Bali with his Vic buddies in a polarised group. Rugby is played and followed around the world Dave!!!!!

        • April 11th 2011 @ 10:34am
          Dave said | April 11th 2011 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          “captain nemo” – did you miss the part that stated “Foxtel and free to air channels are Australian and only show content primarily to Australians.”.
          This is an Australia-only issue. Bringing in the rest of the world is not relevant to an Australian TV deal based upon Australian viewers.

          • April 11th 2011 @ 1:35pm
            Bale3 said | April 11th 2011 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

            ‘Dave’ Australians like Rugby if you didn’t notice and not just those two northern states either.

            Melbourne and Perth both have teams in the Super Rugby and are getting very decent crowds.

            Your idea of Australian is AFL only- a view not shared by the majority of Australians.

            Its about time you widened your narrow Victorian view of the world, and Australia, and looked at the sports that matter to the world.

          • April 11th 2011 @ 1:52pm
            captain nemo said | April 11th 2011 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

            Dave, I am based in Hong Kong and follow rugby (particularly the tahs) and the Dragons, this is not an Australian only issue mate! when the NRL are putting together their brief, they have to take into account New Zealand. But then I am probably losing you here, as I am talking about foreign nations out of control of vlad and the VIC government. You just keep polarising your views mate!!!

          • April 11th 2011 @ 3:07pm
            Ben G said | April 11th 2011 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

            “Foxtel and free to air channels are Australian and only show content primarily to Australians.”

            “How many supporters go to rugby matches across Australia during the season?”

            Unless they’ve decided to start adding crowds to the foxtel viewership, I suggest you follow your own advice.

      • Roar Guru

        April 11th 2011 @ 5:54pm
        peeeko said | April 11th 2011 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

        its also on because plenty of people watch it. and dont call it rugby

      • April 11th 2011 @ 11:04pm
        Australian Football: Central Coast Represent said | April 11th 2011 @ 11:04pm | ! Report

        Dave, you certainly know what your talking about mate, can’t wait for the deal to be finalised and AFL to be outright most televised sport across australia.

        • April 12th 2011 @ 4:45pm
          Bondy said | April 12th 2011 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

          A..F. C, C, Represent .

          Nothing you’ve said on this board has made any sense absolutely nothing.

      • April 12th 2011 @ 1:32am
        Queensland's game is rugby league said | April 12th 2011 @ 1:32am | ! Report

        “the only reason rugby is on foxtel and tv so much in NSW/QLD is because of the owners of those networks also own those sports in Australia.”

        I guess the fact that rugby league outrates every other sport in Queensland and NSW — which house 54% of Australia’s population — has nothing to do with its coverage, right?

    • April 11th 2011 @ 8:26am
      Dogz R Barkn said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      This is an incredible rant, much of it making very little sense.

      In the second paragraph the author says that rugby and soccer is being undermined by stakeholders such as the AFL – since when is the AFL a stakeholder of rugby and soccer?

      The author appears to be complaining that the networks might fork out a combined billion dollars for the AFL – but that’s their business! Soccer fans can moan and groan all they want, but they can’t blame the networks if their product doesn’t carry the same value.

      The author says that League and soccer interests are being leeched, but the League rights come up soon after that of the AFL, so how does he know they are being leeched? As for soccer, the soccer chiefs did their 7 year deal all on their lonesome, at a time when nobody else wanted the rights – what does the AFL have to do with it?

      The author is worried about Ten not broadcasting A-League matches. Once again, Ten could have shown interest in the A-League at the start, but didn’t, and the rights were sold to Fox for 7 years. Got nothing to do with the AFL (especially when most of its season doesn’t clash with the AFL season).

      The author shouldn’t be worried about the Socceroos going unnoticed, some of their matches are now on the anti-siphoning list, just like some AFL matches. You see, equality for all.

      The author shouldn’t be too worried about “self-interested minorities” deceiving hardened TV executives operating in the real commercial world – they don’t throw billion dollars away on a whim.

      And yes, the author is correct on one point: statistics don’t lie.

      • April 11th 2011 @ 8:38am
        Willy said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:38am | ! Report

        In particular, I’m confused as to why Fox would want to use AFL to destroy the NRL when they still own half of the latter competition, and have a share in a couple of clubs.


        Like – Moulder and Scully bizarre… The Truth is Out There.

        • April 11th 2011 @ 10:46am
          Ken said | April 11th 2011 @ 10:46am | ! Report

          While I agree that the article meandered, there is an element of truth to that aspect. They are not trying to destroy the NRL of course, they are quite happy that it rates so well and are happy with it. The NRL is the top rater on the network and because of the ownership structure, they get a relative bargain on it. Sports content is one of the top drivers of payTV, penetration is best in NSW/QLD because they have had so much content for so long.

          Obviously they want to do the same thing with AFL, and they have money to spend because they get a bargain on the NRL, so they spend it on getting the AFL rights to up their penetration in the other markets. It gets up my nose a bit as a RL supporter that the money I spend on fox to watch my sport gets spent on bigger rights for another sport, but it’s hard to blame the AFL for taking advantage of it.

          • April 11th 2011 @ 5:12pm
            JVGO said | April 11th 2011 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

            The first coherent bit of analysis in the whole debate Ken. NRL has to play very hardball to get real market value for its deal.

      • April 12th 2011 @ 4:48am
        Bondy said | April 12th 2011 @ 4:48am | ! Report

        When you get 20,000 to live sites for a F.I.F.A world cup at around Australia you can speak, until then get back in you’re kennel.
        I know you’ll point too you’re 80,000 aussie rule crowd in victoria for victorians and you”ll suggest their’s no need for an A League .But what price would big Andy put on global exposure like the Socceroos priceless i would imagine.
        Please dont tell me their watching aussie rules in Angola, South Korea, Belguim, Mexico, Brasil should i continue.

        aussie rules made in victoria and still remains for victorians.

        • April 12th 2011 @ 7:41am
          Fake ex-AFL fan said | April 12th 2011 @ 7:41am | ! Report

          Interesting point Bondy, but out of curiosity how exactly would the AFL get 20,000 to a live site for a FIFA WC match?

          That’s a bit like me saying “until the A-league can get 80,000 to an Aussie Rules match at the MCG then get back in your (insert disparaging location here)”.

        • April 12th 2011 @ 7:08pm
          woodsman said | April 12th 2011 @ 7:08pm | ! Report

          Well Bondy, I don’t know about South America but they are watching in Thailand, Japan, Laos, UAE, Vietnam, PNG Canada, US, UK and more.

          No offense to other codes, but the NRL might well be the best League in the world, but its still not as interesting as a unique sport that has true links to Australian culture.

          No Victorian thinks of the game as being solely Victorian- we celebrate the great histories of SA, WA, Tassie, NT, Canberra and the often overlooked history in NSW and QLD that predates League. Its Australia’s game whether you acknoweldge it or not. That doesnt mean there is no room for Australians to celebrate other codes, just don’t fool yourself that its some Vic-centric bias.

          • April 12th 2011 @ 9:45pm
            Bondy said | April 12th 2011 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

            Aussie Rules, is that the game the World plays.

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