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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

AFL Strikes Historic $3.05B Media Rights Deal

  • The Australian Football League announced it has struck the country's biggest sports broadcast agreement ever.
  • The deal is worth around $436 million per season.
Australian-Football-League
AFL

The Australian Football League announced Tuesday that it struck the biggest sports broadcast agreement in the country’s history.

Seven Network, Foxtel, and Telstra extended their agreements with the league from 2025 to 2031 in a deal worth $3.05 billion, totaling around $436 million per season. The AFL’s current deal — which was revised and extended in 2020 — runs until the end of the 2024 campaign and is worth roughly $320 million per season.

The rights drew interest from several other media giants.

  • Nine Entertainment and streaming partner Stan Sport reportedly made an offer worth $339 million annually.
  • Paramount’s Network Ten and streaming service Paramount+ reportedly submitted a joint bid for the league.

Owned by News Corp. and Telstra, Foxtel has held broadcasting rights to the AFL with Seven since 2011. Telstra will resume its live match access through the AFL Live app and retain highlight, replay, and on-demand rights.

Outlets reported last month that the AFL had considered moving free-to-air matches to give Foxtel more exclusivity, but Australia’s communications minister Michelle Rowland encouraged the league to “ensure there is no diminution in the availability of AFL matches.”

AFL Alterations

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the media agreement “contemplates” a 19-team competition — Tasmania bid to join the league, with the AFL reportedly pushing its government to build a multipurpose stadium.

League executives will now likely turn their attention to the AFL Players’ Association, whose collective bargaining agreement expires this year.

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