AFL grand final timeslot may move under deal

The tradition of a Saturday afternoon AFL grand final could be about to change.



Both free-to-air and pay-television broadcasters are supporting the idea of moving the showcase match.


It comes after the Seven Network and Foxtel retained AFL TV rights in a massive $2.5 billion deal.


The deal runs over six years from the start of the 2017 season.


AFL chief Gillon McLachlan says the deal will ensure Australian Rules football remains what he calls “Australia’s game”.


“This is a six-year agreement from 2017 to the end of the 2022 season. The AFL continues to have full control over the production of the fixture, including the scheduling of the grand final. The AFL season will continue to be a 22-match season for each of our clubs, with a standard round of nine matches.”

All nine games will be broadcast live across the Seven Network, Foxtel and Telstra streaming services each week.

The AFL will retain total control over fixturing, and the current 22-round season will remain until at least 2023.

Seven will also hold exclusive broadcasting rights for both the grand final and the Brownlow Medal presentation.


News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch says it is a good investment for Foxtel, the media group’s half-owned, pay-TV broadcaster.

“We’ve always believed that this is the premium code in Australia, it’s the national game, and we’re putting our money where we believed. But we’re also committing all our platforms to support the AFL everywhere, in every state. So we’re very happy to be doing this. We believe in the strength of the game and will do everything we can to just make it stronger.”


AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick says the deal is good news for future of the game.


“Senior AFL football is now played in every state and territory. Our challenge over the next decade is to make the right investments to grow our reach into every state, region, town and community.”