When you consider that the AFL has been around for more than a century and is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world, it’s not a surprise that it’s also one of those that attract the most fans.
A recent Nielsen survey found that just over half of the people who regularly watch AFL matches in person said they’d like to watch more matches in the future.
The AFL is not alone in this.
The NRL, the Australian Football League, and the Premier League have all signed deals with Foxtel for new TV deals, with each of these leagues seeing a rise in TV viewing over the past decade.
It seems the AFL is on the way up, with its new deal set to go into effect next season.
The deal, which comes into effect on 1 January, is a combination of a three-year deal, plus a 12-month extension.
“The AFL has a unique combination of fans, broadcasting rights, and sporting heritage that has made it the most successful sport in Australia,” AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said in a statement.
AFL chief executive Mark Evansville says the new agreement with Foetel, which will see Foxtels TV service broadcast in 2018, will be the “perfect storm” to increase AFL-watching numbers.
While the AFL’s TV rights deal has been in place for many years, Evansville’s statement said that “this deal is the perfect storm” for the league.
As well as providing Foxtele with a new home in Australia, the deal also means the AFL will have access to a number of new technologies, such as a new live streaming service, which it will then be able to use to increase viewership.
Evansville told ABC Radio Melbourne on Wednesday that the new deal with Foeteel was also the “biggest move” the AFL had ever made in terms of broadcasting.
Foetel is owned by Foxtons parent company, BT Group, but the broadcaster has previously been critical of the deal.
In a statement released on Wednesday, BT said the deal with the AFL was “not only the best thing we have ever done, it is also the right one”.
“The Foetels television broadcast has already exceeded expectations,” the statement said.
“It is a great investment for both our sport and the wider industry.”
“With Foetela as our broadcast partner, we will be able more quickly and efficiently deliver a wide range of AFL content to our customers and give them a more immersive experience.”
It is the best investment we have made in the history of our company.
“Foaetel CEO Mark Evans says the deal is “not just the best deal we have done, but also the wrong one”.
EvANSVILLE: You will see a big increase in the number of people watching AFL.
It will be like watching a new sport.
It’s like watching the NRL in 2018.
The game has a big fan base, but we have a long way to go.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the numbers, but over the last year or so the game has gone up.
You will find that the number who have watched a game in the past 12 months has gone from one in four to one in five.
And we’re going to be able, with the Foetele platform, to deliver a wider range of content to those people, in a way that they haven’t been able to before.
It really is an exciting time for our sport.
LOWEN: There’s no question that the game is up.
We’re seeing more people going out and seeing the game.
The league is up on the football side of things, with a lot of the young kids playing, and we’re seeing an increase in those people who play basketball and football, and there’s a big jump in that.
It is going to create a very healthy game environment in terms, with all the people that are involved in the game, and a lot more people watching the game than before.
ROBERTS: We’re going from maybe one in three to one out of four.
It just takes time.
I mean, it took a few years for people to really get on board, and it took two years to get to this point.
EVANSVILLE (voiceover): This deal, in essence, is just like the AFL in terms that it will allow Foetle to increase the number that watch the game more than ever before.
The deal is a welcome one for the AFL.
While it has been the AFL for more years than many other sports, it has struggled with declining audience numbers.
In 2017, Foetl reported that the league’s live TV audience fell from 7.6 million to 6.6 millions.
This is partly down to the league not having