The AFL (Australian Football League) has signed a seven-year $4.5 billion broadcasting deal with Foxtel and Seven West Media, marking the biggest deal in Aussie TV history.
The broadcasters beat out Amazon, Network Ten / Paramount and Nine Entertainment Company to retain the rights, which include digital rights for 7plus.
The deal will see all Friday and Thursday night games in the first 15 rounds plus all marquee matches, including Anzac Day games live and free on Seven. Seven will also broadcast all AFLW games, including finals.
Foxtel will have exclusive access to Saturday games for the first eight rounds in Melbourne. The deal will give Foxtel subscribers access to every AFL match and event.
The AFL will retain full control over the production of games, including scheduling the grand final.
The deal comes hot on the heels of new research from Deloitte, which revealed that 56% of Australians are unwilling to pay for sports subscriptions.
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It comes as the battle for sports broadcasting rights continues to heat up in Australia, with a host of new platforms all vying for content. The arrival of international content giants Paramount and Amazon Prime Video, alongside beefed-up offerings such as Optus Sport, Stan Sport and Foxtel’s Kayo has created even more competition for sports rights.
The record-breaking deal comes as Seven’s legal battle with Cricket Australia continues as the network seeks to end its six-year $450 million TV rights deal for Test Cricket and Big Bash League.