Ten pulls out of AFL TV negotiations

  • 0comments

The Seven Network says it has no problem televising four AFL games per round for the next five years, after the Ten Network pulled out of the running.

Seven earlier this year bought the rights to broadcast four matches as part of the AFL's $1.253 billion rights deal, under which Foxtel will show all nine matches live.

Seven had been in negotiations with Ten to on-sell two of its four games, but Ten has now decided not to buy them.

That leaves Seven to show all four matches -- on Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon -- unless they can now broker a deal to on-sell one or more to the Nine Network.

Under Seven's deal, the four games will be screened on their secondary channel, Seven Mate, in NSW and Queensland.

Seven currently only screens two games per round, on Friday nights and Sundays, with the remaining matches split between Ten and Foxtel.

But Seven Melbourne general manager Lewis Martin said the network was happy to double its AFL schedule.

"We are excited about the prospect of carrying all the AFL games for which we bid," Martin said in a statement.

"But we wish to acknowledge that Channel Ten has been a terrific AFL broadcast partner for the past five years, and their commitment to the game over the past decade.

"We understand and empathise with how difficult these decisions can be.

"That said, we have planned to broadcast all four games every weekend from next year, plus finals, the grand final and the Brownlow Medal and we look forward to becoming the sole free-to-air destination for AFL."

Ten's head of sport David Barham said it was sad news for those who had been involved in the network's AFL team.

"It's just a pure business decision," he said.

Barham declined to comment on whether not having AFL commitments would increase Ten's chances of securing the right to broadcast NRL games.

Like TV.com on Facebook