Australian Football League Caters To TV Audiences With 2014 Schedule
Australian Football League CEO Andrew Demetriou's "mantra in his decade as AFL boss has always been to maximise attendances," according to Jon Ralph of the HERALD SUN. Yet the draw his execs released Wednesday at AFL House "shows increasing the league’s future TV rights deals" is just as crucial for Demetriou and Co. The AFL action "will also never be easier to watch from the couch." The trial of as many as five Sunday games "is an exciting prospect, but is also guaranteed to cost the AFL fans through the turnstiles." Consider the two best Sunday night contests: Carlton vs. Collingwood on June 29, and Essendon vs. Carlton on April 6. Play either of those games on Saturday afternoon at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and you "guarantee 85,000 supporters and probably hope for more." In their Sunday 7:40pm timeslot, anything more than 60,000 supporters "would be a win." So there "go 50,000 supporters in one stroke of fixture boss Simon Lethlean’s pen." Yet "push aside the attendance issue and there is no doubt Sunday night football shapes as the cash cow" that will increase the league’s current A$1.26B ($1.2B) TV rights deal (HERALD SUN, 10/30).