Bruce Mathieson, who controls 260 Victorian pubs, has cancelled a deal worth more than $5 million a year when negotiations broke down after 2 months.
Under the AFL licence agreement, Fox Sports broadcasts four games each week — half the round.
Bruce Mathieson Jr, who helps his father run the pub-and-pokies empire, told the Herald Sun the right to show AFL games had become far too expensive. He said showing footy games on Foxtel cost each pub more than $20,000 a year.
“For a pub it’s in the thousands and it gets to one of those things, it’s a question of value,” Mr Mathieson said.
“Our fees go into the millions. We just didn’t think we were getting value for money.”
Mr Mathieson said Foxtel would be switched off on Friday. But free-to-air AFL games would still be shown.
“We get the best games on free-to-air and it’s just a business decision we’ve made,” Mr Mathieson said.
“They were trying to sting us a fair bit more. With all the new AFL broadcast deals they brought out a new price list and it’s pretty expensive. We had a contract for two years. It was up for renewal and we went to negotiate and we didn’t see the value in it.”
An AFL spokesman said it couldn’t comment on the issue last night. The Australian Hotels Association also declined to comment.
Source: Herald Sun