AFL's Modified Rules Competition Gaining Interest From Broadcasters
It is "still a work-in-progress," but the Australian Football League’s answer to T20 cricket, AFLX, is "already raising interest from broadcasters," according to Peter Lalor of THE AUSTRALIAN. The modified rules competition, which has a chance to be trialed by the AFL early next season, is "partly aimed at spreading the game into local territories where there are not enough football grounds and possibly aspires to taking Australian football to that elusive international audience." AFLX is a 10-a-side (seven on the field at any one time) game, played on a rectangular pitch with four 10-minute quarters. Shorter, faster and transportable -- AFLX "can be played anywhere in the world" -- the idea will be "watched anxiously" by cricket and football, which "compete for oxygen with the AFL." Fox Footy GM Michael Neill admitted that "there was always demand for new content and AFLX has the potential to attract broadcasters." Neill said, "It’s difficult to know exactly what its full potential is until you know who is involved, what level of player and what the structure of the competition is. It is hard to say, but I can see it as a bit of a tune-up for players in the preseason." Neill agreed that the abbreviated form of the game "would be a threat to tournaments" such as the Big Bash League, but "thought it would probably be scheduled for later in the summer" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/16).