AFL relents, Seven allowed more Olympics

By David Knox on August 12, 2008 / Filed Under Programming 0

The AFL has bowed to pressure for sports fans to see more Olympics and has made concessions to the Seven Network for this Sunday afternoon.

It will not require Seven to screen the AFL in NSW and Queensland. In Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania the Carlton v North Melbourne match will air live instead of delayed. Foxtel / Austar will screen the match live on Main Event in NSW, ACT and Queensland. Western Australia will take a telecast of the match from Subiaco between Fremantle and St Kilda.

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou said the AFL fully appreciated the importance of Australia’s Olympic involvement to the wider community.

“The Olympics is the biggest event in world sport and Seven is doing a magnificent job in bringing the action home to Australians,” he said. “This is a one-off event where we have a clash and we are delighted that we can work with Seven and Foxtel, as two of our broadcast partners, to achieve the best result for as many people as possible.”

Earlier today Seven Melbourne boss Ian Johnson acknowledged viewer frustration and AFL contract commitments.

“It’s not ideal,” he said, “but as I said before we can’t put two different pictures on at once.”

There was no indication on movement of the Friday Night match or any of the AFL matches on the following weekend.

Press Release:
The AFL and Channel Seven today announced they would alter the AFL’s broadcast agreement for next Sunday’s middle day of Olympic competition at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, to enable the widest coverage of live sport possible.

AFL Chief Executive Officer Andrew Demetriou said the AFL wished for all sports fans to have the best possible access to both live AFL coverage and live elite Olympic competition this Sunday, August 17, when its key partner Seven was committed to supporting both events.

As a result of discussions last night, with the support of AFL broadcast key partner FOXTEL, the changes to this Sunday’s broadcast schedule will see:
- Channel Seven remain with its Olympic telecast from Beijing in Sydney and Brisbane.
- FOXTEL and AUSTAR will now provide a live broadcast of the Carlton v North Melbourne match from Telstra Dome on its Main Event Channel (Channel 518) for subscribers in the ACT, NSW and Qld, in addition to its regular Sunday broadcasts of the early and twilight matches on Fox Sports (Channel 501).
- Channel Seven to broadcast the Carlton v North Melbourne match live into Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, rather than on regular delay as part of the rights agreement, to enable an immediate return to Olympic schedules. Western Australia will take a telecast of the match from Subiaco between Fremantle and St Kilda.

Mr Demetriou said the AFL fully appreciated the importance of Australia’s Olympic involvement to the wider community and said he was delighted that the AFL and Seven, with the support of FOXTEL and FOX SPORTS, had been able to reach an agreement to suit as many viewers as possible for this Sunday.

“The Olympics is the biggest event in world sport and Seven is doing a magnificent job in bringing the action home to Australians,” Mr Demetriou said.

“This is a one-off event where we have a clash and we are delighted that we can work with Seven and FOXTEL, as two of our broadcast partners, to achieve the best result for as many people as possible.”

Seven’s Head of Sport Saul Shtein said: “We’re pleased to be working in close partnership with the AFL. It’s a terrific relationship and today’s decision ensures that we give all sports fans the best of the Oympics and the Australian Football League.”

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