Last year on July 29, a wise person wrote:
The AFL are, allegedly, looking to push the price for the TV rights from $750 million to $1 billion. Currently marquee games are on delay: Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday. Yet the AFL want an extra $250 million as well as have the TV stations alter their current programming to run the matches live. Does this not smack of cake and eat it, too?
Can the TV stations make up the extra dosh by moving from delayed to live broadcasts? Do the TV stations want the football enough to push the price out to $1 billion?
do the TV stations run games on delay purely to fit into their schedules? Channel Seven go on about viewer loyalty of Better Homes & Gardens, but do they really care that much about the BH&G income stream? Could running big games on delay means they can better pad their coverage? Surely, they would want to avoid having viewers turn off the sound and listen to the radio. Yes, there is the delay, but technology such as the Delay-o-Tron allows viewers to synchronise the sound and picture.
Up until now, the AFL have been unwilling to force TV stations to cough up more money and run all matches live. Belatedly, after the last contract negotiations were complete, the punters realised that, yet again, Friday night live was somehow left out of the agreement. Instead we were informed that Friday night matches were supposedly covered by and article of faith, a "discretionary" agreement, whereby the AFL crossed their fingers and hoped that maybe the TV stations would do the right thing by the viewers and show a match live if the match warranted the live treatment. For an extra $250 million, is this likely to change?
Today in the Herald Sun, Michael Warner (who really should have consulted the AGB, but instead consulted rent-a-quote footy oaf, Joffa):
FOOTY fans face another five years of delayed Friday night TV broadcasts.
As the AFL closes in on a new TV rights deal expected to top $1 billion, Channel 7 is refusing to give in to pressure to sacrifice top-rating Better Homes & Gardens and show footy live.
Also today in the Herald Sun, Mike Sheahan:
OF course the Seven network wants to preserve and extend the status quo.
Why would a network, any network, want to tamper in any way with an arrangement that guarantees fours hours of high-rating, prime-time television on Friday nights for the best part of 30 weeks?
No, if we are finally to get live football on Friday night every week, the AFL is going to have to concede a slice of the rights generated by the Friday night component.