Channel Ten Interested In Australian Football League Broadcast Rights
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).