Lance Franklin's Decision To Play For Swans Results In Sydney TV Setback
Fusion Media analyst Steve Allen said that Aussie rules football player Lance Franklin's decision to play for the Australian Football League Sydney Swans over Greater Western Sydney "will have a major impact on the AFL's bid to crack the crucial Sydney television market," according to Jon Pierik of THE AGE. Allen said that the "easiest way for the AFL to leave a greater footprint on what is a fickle Sydney market is to have two competitive teams." This would "not only help spark stronger ratings locally, but around the country." Franklin's move "to join a blue-chip Swans team," rather than the bottom-placed Giants, "would initially suggest the divide between the two clubs will grow, unless the Giants can secure a clutch of established senior players through the free agency and trade periods." Had Franklin joined the Giants, it "could have been considered for at least one Friday-night clash -- they were one of five teams that did not feature this season -- with an early season grudge match against the Hawks, marketed as a blockbuster and cut-through clash in rugby league's western heartland, also a possibility." Allen said Franklin's decision "would not impact on the next TV rights deal, even if the Giants continued to struggle" (THE AGE, 10/3).