The Nine Network is set to lead its bid for the next round of AFL rights with a plan to offer live Friday night football in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Nine has started talks with the league over bidding for the broadcast rights for the 2012-2016 AFL seasons which is set to come with a $1 billion price tag. The current five-year rights deal, shared between Seven, Ten and Foxtel, was worth $780 million.
AFL chief Andrew Demetriou would not comment on the discussions, but told the Sunday Herald Sun that there is growing demand for live coverage:
“Our research has shown us that live or near-live sport does not impact on crowd numbers, but increases the interest and awareness of sport and contributes to greater growth in the long term. It is the AFL’s view that there is an increasing demand for live sport among fans and AFL fans have been telling us that they wish to see more live football as part of our next rights agreement.”
A recent survey of readers of the Sunday Herald Sun showed that 90 per cent supported the change to live AFL coverage on Friday nights.
Seven, the current Friday night rights holder, delays the airing of Friday night games to allow for the screening of lifestyle program Better Homes And Gardens.
Source: Media Spy.