The Seven Network will air four AFL matches in 2012 after Network TEN confirmed it was not interested in buying 2 games per week from Seven.
Seven was able to onsell some of the 4 Free to Air matches if it had a broadcast partner but has always said it would happily screen them all, by utilising its digital channels under the new anti-siphoning rules.
“It is a bit of a shame. It’s the choice of the network. It’s purely a business decision,” Barham told The Age today.
“Everyone is disappointed but understands the decision.
Lewis Martin, General Manager, Channel Seven Melbourne said in a statement: “We are excited about the prospect of carrying all the AFL games for which we bid.
“But we wish to acknowledge that Channel TEN has been a terrific AFL broadcast partner for the past five years, and their commitment to the game over the past decade. We understand and empathise with how difficult these decisions can be.
“That said, we have planned to broadcast all four games every weekend from next year – plus finals, the Grand Final and the Brownlow Medal – and we look forward to becoming the sole free-to-air destination for AFL.”
Before the Game, produced by Roving Enterprises, will also remain with TEN for the current season but there are no decisions about its long-term future yet. There is also no word on AFL panel shows on ONE beyond this season.
FOX Sports will televise all AFL nine matches live from next season.