The AFL has signed a 2 year extension with Foxtel and Telstra which will see the league recieved $946 million over the final two years, when combined with the previous Seven Network extension.
Asked if the deal was an increase on what the AFL was receiving in the pre-COVID-adjusted arrangement, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said yes. McLachlan said this new deal had secured the AFL an increase on the price of the rights when compared to the number agreed upon after pandemic renegotiations.
Foxtel will continue to show every AFL and AFLW game live, including through its digital platform Kayo, and will have replay and highlights rights.
But its complaint about Seven’s rights to play four AFL matches per round on free-to-air TV went unanswered. Foxtel had been unhappy with a clause in Seven’s contract that allowed it to broadcast a different four matches in each state.
While Foxtel is now paying more for its share of the rights, the new deal heightens the importance of the fast-growing Kayo service, which emerges with a better set of streaming rights than the previous deal that saw Telstra have the lion’s share of live streaming. There will no longer be ads during play on Foxtel and Kayo when taking the Channel Seven feed.
The deal represents a 25 per cent increase on the revised rights agreement the AFL struck with Foxtel because of the pandemic, but is only slightly higher than the original deal.
“The extension of the rights deal resets the discounts associated with COVID and is financially little changed from the original 2017-22 agreement,” a Foxtel spokesman said.
The value of the deal in 2023 and 2024 is up to $150 million greater than Foxtel’s contract with the NRL in each of those years, industry sources said.
Telstra will become Marvel Stadium’s official technology and innovation partner over the next four years, upgrading the infrastructure to accommodate fixed and 4G/5G networks, incorporating artificial intelligence, and mixed reality and edge computing.
Telstra will also expand its visual sponsorship, and continue to develop the AFL’s digital assets including AFL.com.au, club websites and the AFL Official Live App. The agreement with the AFL Players’ Association that enables Telstra to engage players as ambassadors has also been extended.
Seven maintains exclusive access to the AFL Grand Final. In June the AFL renegotiated its deal with the Seven Network at a discount of 19 per cent, which also extended that agreement to the end of 2024.
Under the extended agreement:
- Foxtel will extend its coverage of AFL to cover the 2023 and 2024 Toyota AFL Premiership seasons and the NAB AFLW seasons with all games during the home and away season shown live.
- Foxtel will continue to broadcast all Premiership Season matches live on subscription television and digital platforms (Kayo, Foxtel Go, Foxtel Now) in 2023-24, as well as having replay and highlight rights.
- Telstra continues its partnership through the 2023 and 2024 seasons, with highlight, replay and on demand rights while increasing their investment in sponsorship assets.
- Telstra will become Marvel Stadium’s official technology and innovation partner over the next four years, ensuring the revamped Marvel Stadium offers supporters the best digital experience of any stadium or entertainment venue in the country and ensuring supporters have the technology to connect them to the game they love.
- Telstra technology and connectivity will be deployed at Marvel over the next few years including fixed and 4G/5G networks upgrades, Artificial Intelligence, and mixed reality and edge computing. From booking a seat to parking to engaging with the game, attendees will soon be able to experience a new stadium experience before, during, and after they attend the game.
- Telstra will also expand its visual sponsorship elements such as on-field Telstra 5G signage, and continue the development of the AFL’s digital assets such as AFL.com.au, club websites and the AFL Official LIVE App. The updated sponsorship also deepens Telstra’s connections to AFL Clubs and extends the agreement with the AFL Players Association that engages all listed players as ambassadors for use in social marketing campaigns and other initiatives.