The AFL continues to have full control of the production of the fixture, including the scheduling time of the AFL Grand Final. This is important to continue to provide fans certainty and ensuring the right mix of match ups and timeslots.
Broadcast live and free nationally on the Seven Network and 7+ digital will be AFL on Thursday nights, Friday nights, selected Saturday nights, Sunday afternoons, Marquee matches, the Brownlow Medal, all AFL Finals and the AFL Grand Final.
- The first 15 rounds of the AFL Premiership Season to feature Thursday night matches on the Seven Network and 7+ digital
- Saturday night matches in the last eight rounds
- All marquee matches will be live and free (Dreamtime, Anzac Eve, Anzac Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday and Queen’s Birthday) plus at least three additional marquee matches – such as the season opener and Queen’s Birthday Eve.
- Broadcast live on Foxtel and Kayo will be every single AFL / AFLW home and away match, every AFL / AFLW final (excluding the AFL Grand Final), all pre-season matches – and all with their own Fox Footy commentary teams. Foxtel / Kayo will also broadcast all AFL events including the AFL draft and Awards nights (excluding the Brownlow).
- Seven will provide Fox with a clean Feed. Fox will use their own commentators and graphics for all matches.
- Foxtel / Kayo will own Saturday in the first eight rounds of each AFL season, broadcasting exclusively live all games in all timeslots, which the exception of Anzac Eve, Anzac Day and Dreamtime if they were to fall on a Saturday.
- Outside Victoria, the match involving the local team will be broadcast live into the local market on the Seven Network and 7+ digital except for selected matches on holdbacks.
- At least 30 NAB AFLW home and away games, AFLW finals and the AFLW grand final will be live and free on the Seven Network and 7+ digital with local market substitution rules. ALL NAB AFLW matches and events will also be broadcast on Foxtel and Kayo.
- All Free to Air games mirrored and available on 7+ digital in all local markets.
- In addition, our partnership with Telstra is extending and by the end of this agreement we will have celebrated 30 years with Telstra as our digital and technology partner, connecting fans to the game they love anywhere, anytime on any platform.
- Through this new deal Telstra will be building on their investment into Marvel Stadium and extending into innovation and our digital offerings through the AFL / AFLW apps and all 18 clubs’ websites.
The total agreement we are announcing today with our broadcast partners covers seven seasons from Season 2025 – until the end of the 2031 season and will deliver footy a financial return of $4.5 billion.
— End Official Statement —
Foxtel and Seven were forced to pay significantly more than anyone imagined due to Channel Ten and Paramount’s bid of $6 billion over 10 years. Channel Ten and its owner Paramount forced Foxtel and Seven’s hand by upping the ante with Ten’s 10-year $6 billion bid – which Ten insiders believe was only beaten on the buzzer by a late top-up by News Corp/Foxtel.
Nine made a last-minute offer for the entirety of the rights around the $500 million mark, which was ultimately unsuccessful. Participants say Nine’s bid came in the lowest, between $500 million and $520 million in cash over five years.
Ten/Paramount’s pitch – about $100m a year ahead of Nine – wasn’t simply financial. The final offer from Paramount/Channel 10 came in about $570 million over 10 years, sources say. The American-owned network (which has a streaming arm Paramount +) also offered to put footy on free to air, on the primary channel, every Saturday night, in Queensland and NSW; obviously, their pitch had to exceed the incumbents. Eventually, they were beaten on dollars.
The combined pitch by Seven West Media and Foxtel is understood to be worth $550 million a year – cash and contra totalling $3.85 billion over seven years according to News Limited and Roy Masters – with additional revenue from Telstra for their AFL Live app taking the deal past $4 billion in cash. According to the Financial Review, excluding the free advertising attached to broadcast deals known as contra, the Seven-Foxtel bid came to roughly $600 million in cash each year over seven years, according to several participants.
For Seven, the cost of the AFL will be $1.3 billion over the lifespan of the contract, or an average $189 million a year, according to number crunching by investment bank Goldman Sachs. Seven will pay a 14% increase on the 2024 rights in 2025; with indexation over the term this represents a 3.6% compound annual growth rate in rights fees across the period.
The new seven-year deal will bring in $642 million in cash annually, and subsidised advertising on Seven and across Foxtel’s service, far more than the $600 million per year the AFL was aiming for. The previous two deals had yielded $3.5 billion over eight years. It is up from the $473 million the league will secure for each of the 2023 and 2024 seasons, a rise of just over 35 per cent per season.
7plus will be the new home of the AFL for Seven’s fans and advertisers, with a comprehensive package of digital rights secured with this renewal. The 7plus AFL hub will include live and replay matches as well as catch-up rights and highlights packages on video on demand, available live and free on any device, at any time. Seven will also continue to broadcast AFL games on Channel 7 and 7mate.
The new deal “contemplates” the possibility of the introduction of a 19th team from Tasmania, McLachlan said. He added the AFL was “optimistic of reaching some agreement with the Tasmanian government” before the league went to its existing clubs.
McLachlan said the league would annually review the grand final start time given the changing nature of broadcasting with Warburton saying of Seven’s preference: “We would love a night grand final. It’s about reach and it’s about the people at home and it’s about some of the casual fans but it’s a decision for the AFL.”
The start time will remain at 7.50pm for Friday night games but McLachlan said there was “provision” for the AFL to move that time forward to 7.20pm as early as next year.
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