AFL Expected To Drive A Harder Bargain With Broadcasters
While the NRL accepted reduced prices for its contracts with broadcasters Nine Entertainment Co and Foxtel, AFL leadership is tipped to drive a harder bargain with Seven. The Sydney Morning Herald stated: “Media industry sources familiar with the AFL’s thinking said its key executives believe that the NRL could have driven a harder bargain.”
The 2020 AFL Premiership Season will resume on 11th June, and is hoped to continue as usual for the following 16 weeks, with a normal four-week finals series.
However, the length of quarters will be reduced to 16 minutes, from 20 minutes, to accommodate players “having been sidelined for the best part of three months due to the global COVID-19 pandemic”, the AFL said.
Although AFL’s return will bolster Seven’s ratings and Kayo and Foxtel’s attraction for subscribers, these broadcasters could argue that the AFL season has lost value, in part due to these shorter games, as well as the absence of crowds.
Both Seven and Foxtel have made significant cuts to staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CEO of AFL Gillon McLachlan has been in talks with Seven about a potential two-year extension of the game’s media rights since April.