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SBD Global/August 27, 2014/Media

Channel Ten Interested In Australian Football League Broadcast Rights

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Channel Ten "has signalled its interest in bidding" for the next Australian Football League broadcast rights, "even if the AFL decides it wants a 10-year agreement," according to Jon Pierik of THE AGE. AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan "has floated the prospect of an extended deal," with the present five-year, A$1.25B ($1.16B) agreement with Channel Seven, Foxtel and Telstra expiring after the '16 season. Media analysts believe a new five-year deal could be worth about A$1.6B and a 10-year agreement between A$3.5B-A$4B. Ten CEO Hamish McLennan "has already signalled his interest in the network regaining a slice of the AFL rights it lost in 2011." He "is open to an extended contract." A Ten spokesperson said, "We like what the AFL has done with the game and it has real appeal to us." Discussions for a new contract "open later this year." Nine "is also likely to express interest," despite having the rights to the Natrional Rugby League on a Friday night and Sunday. There "has been speculation Seven is keen on a 10-year deal." Media analysts said that Seven "could be keen to lock in a longer deal because it would help keep Ten as the third-rating commercial network." A long-term deal "would also give the AFL revenue surety, and could speed up any plans to purchase Etihad Stadium" (THE AGE, 8/26).
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