According to the 1998 AFL Annual Report, Channel 7 purchased the last rights to the next broadcast deal for $20 million.
In December 2000, the AFL received bids from Seven and a consortium consisting of News Limited and the Nine and Ten Networks. The News Consortium bid was accepted by the AFL leaving Seven to match. The News Consortium paid $500 million for 5 years.
On January 25th, 2001, the Seven Network advised the AFL that it would not be matching the offer from the News Consortium and would bow out of AFL broadcasting after 44 years. [Source: AFL 2000 Annual report pg. 27]
The AFL 2001 Annual Report goes into the detail of the agreement.
- One game on Friday night (Nine)
- Two games on Saturday afternoon (ten/Fox)
- Two games on Saturday night (ten/Fox)
- Three games on Sunday afternoon (2 x Nine, Fox)
Exceptions would be made on public holidays.
In Perth, Sydney, BRisbane and Adelaide, all matches involving local teams would be shown live on or on delay on free to air television.
A match will be shown every Saturday and Sunday afternoon in Sydney and Brisbane regardless of whether their respective teams are playing.
Games will be selected six weeks in advance by their broadcasters. This will have no effect on fixturing or venues.
All AFL Finals would be on the Ten network, either live or on delay. Ten would alternate with Nine for the Brownlow medal count.
All matches will be webcast on delay via the AFL website.