Seven will stand by its delayed coverage of the blockbuster Carlton-Collingwood AFL fixture this weekend, rejecting calls from the clubs involved for the game to be shown live “against the gate”.
The game, which begins at 2.10pm on Sunday, will be aired as a delayed telecast on Seven, with the network committing itself to broadcasting the V8 Supercars until 3pm. Chief executives of Carlton and Collingwood have joined together to support the notion of airing big fixtures live.
Collingwood’s chief executive Gary Pert said that showing such a fixture live would not significantly influence the size of the crowd at the game itself, given the interest in the game and the likelihood that the match could attract upwards of 80,000 spectators at the MCG.
“With big blockbuster games, once you get up past the mid-80s, we strongly encourage broadcasters to show the games live.
“You just can’t beat being at games like we saw for Anzac Day but a lot of people can’t get to those matches, so the more Collingwood people that can experience those blockbusters live the better.”
His comments were supported by Essendon and Geelong, whose chief executives also opined that broadcasters ought to consider showing big games live. According to the Essendon’s chief executive Ian Robson:
“My private view is alongside that of [Carlton's chief executive] Greg Swann, in that we need to have faith in the quality of our live product as a drawcard, and cater to the broader market who can’t get to games because of other commitments, or location or transport issues.”
The renewed calls from the clubs support comments made by the AFL’s chief executive Andrew Demetriou last month. Demetriou said that “the world is demanding to see their sport live”, and that live coverage had not and would not adversely affect ticket sales.