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AFL announces ‘unprecedented’ $4.5 billion broadcast deal with Seven, Foxtel

The AFL has sold its TV rights for a record Australian broadcast deal of $4.5 billion over seven years to Foxtel and the Seven Network.

The previous deal, signed during the COVID-19 pandemic, was worth $473 million for each of the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

The new deal is worth $643 million per year.

“This partnership is an incredible result, unprecedented and the biggest in Australian sport,” AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said.

From 2025, Seven will show at least three games per week on free-to-air channels, while Foxtel and its streaming arm Kayo Sports will broadcast all nine AFL and AFLW matches a round under the new agreement.

All AFL finals will be on free-to-air TV, while Seven will also show all 15 Thursday night games.

Foxtel and Kayo will have exclusive rights to Saturday games for the first eight rounds of the seven seasons.

“The combination of Seven and Foxtel is by far and away the best for any sport,” Seven’s chief executive James Warburton said.

The AFL sought bids from other consortiums including Nine and its streaming arm Stan, and the Ten Network and Paramount +.

McLachlan said he wanted to thank the competing partners.

“We reached the right commercial deal for our supporters and our clubs and our players and our communities … and I think our long term history counts,” he said.

Foxtel has been broadcasting the AFL since 2002, while Seven has been broadcasting the game continuously since 2007.

‘Comprehensive’ coverage
The deal is a swan song for McLachlan, who is stepping down at the end of this season.

McLachlan said the deal “contemplates” a 19-team competition, and he was confident of going to the AFL clubs “in the coming weeks” to discuss a Tasmanian team entering the AFL.

The free-to-air coverage is unprecedented, he added, and will remain as comprehensive as in the previous deal.

“Clearly we’re moving some Saturday games to Thursday,” he said.

McLachlan said the AFL would spend more money on grassroots football, including new change rooms for girls and women’s football teams.

Foxtel, which says it has 4.5 million subscribers, including through Kayo, will feature its own commentators on all games.

Up to now, Foxtel has broadcast some games using the Channel 7 commentary feed. ABC

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