TEN: Yes we’re keen on AFL

Despite letting the AFL and Before the Game go, TEN now says it is keen to bid for the next round of broadcasting rights.

2014-04-22_1126TEN has confirmed its interest in the next round of AFL rights.

The current $1.25 billion deal with Seven and Foxtel ends in 2016, but AFL general manager of broadcasting Simon Lethlean has said the league’s preference would be to secure a deal by late next year.

TEN CEO Hamish McLennan tells Fairfax, “Yes, we’re keen. All depends on what is on offer.”

Asked what slots TEN would be interested in, McLennan said: “Depends on price etc, but maybe Saturday again and what is on offer.”

Of course TEN pulled out of the last rights under acting CEO Lachlan Murdoch. Its AFL commentators then walked to rival broadcasters.

Last year TEN also let go of Before the Game, under the current CEO. So the messages to AFL fans and community about its dedication to the code seem to be reinvented with each passing year, while Seven has stayed the course.

But then the network’s position on News and morning television also seem to fluctuate depending on network management too. We’re also now hearing TEN is less inclined on more Olympics too. It’s these kinds of changes that leave the audience wondering what, exactly, a network stands for (at least local Drama has held firm through recent years and as a result Offspring flourishes). These things impact on brand.

Current  network shares tells TEN they should never have let football go, but it is in the AFL‘s interests to have TEN drive up the bidding price.  Talk of an early broadcasting deal would come despite some suggestions at the last round that the AFL could set up its own digital broadcasting model and deal directly with fans.

TEN is actually right to be eyeing the AFL for its broadcasting schedule but based on recent events, it  is yet to assure us it won’t undergo another managerial upheaval and staff cuts Before The (next) Game.

27 Responses

  1. I did used to enjoy Channel Ten’s AFL Coverage!

    I do think that Ten will go for the AFL TV Rights, the Sydney to Hobart Race TV Rights & Australian Masters Golf TV Rights. Then the Network will add 3 More Premium Sporting Events to its Sporting Portfolio. think that the Next TV Rights with include Seven screening the Traditional 4 Games as well as all Finals & Grand Finals & Ten screening the other 5 Games & maybe Fox Footy will continue On-Air & simulcast all 9 Games as well as Finals Matches live.

    Ten has also done a great job by signing Sporting Events TV Rights such as the V8 Supercars & the Big Bash Cricket as well as renewing MotoGP. Hopefully Ten will renew Formula 1.

  2. @amanda_20 I actually enjoyed the 5 min warning. Added to the excitement! Instinctively I count upwards, not down!

    I can’t help wonder like @brad80 that any Ten deal would need to involve FoxFooty (this would be a good result). The decline in 7’s numbers I think are part picture quality, part comm team quality, which are both sub standard to FoxFooty.

    I also have a gut feel that the landscape for the rights in terms of offerings might be different this time. The AFL is gearing to MLB style in-house production/digital rights and I think will auction off game timeslots as opposed to networks tendering for number of games. Last few years the Fri / Sat night ‘prime exposure’ games haven’t always been the most exciting. FoxFooty is in the box seat and I think should try the bold move of packaging the digital rights to all games to use ‘OnDemand’ and then brokering with the…

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