Bruce McAvaney calls time on AFL commentating

Legendary Seven sports commentator Bruce McAvaney is stepping back from the microphone, ending his AFL calling.

“I felt like I got to a stage in my career where I had to reduce my workload,” he told 7NEWS.

“I’m going to miss it enormously, I just visualise when Richmond and Carlton run out there in round one, and the ball is bounced, I’m going to climb a wall somewhere.

“I’m going to have to move on and just be a fan like everybody else.”

While he will still be a part of Seven’s AFL team, he won’t call matches. But he will also commentate the Tokyo Olympics mid year.

McAvaney said his decision has not been driven by health.

In 2017 he revealed details of his fight with leukaemia – an illness he continues to manage.

“[I’m] certainly not anything close to retirement, it’s just a new phase, where I cut back slightly, and anything I’m asked to do at Seven I’m going to do with the same enthusiasm and same commitment,” he explained.

McAvaney was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2002. He was also inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Quill Awards.


  1. Its the end of an era. Can’t believe now we will have to put up with even more BT. All i know is i’ll be watching AFL mute this season i think.

  2. A legend of tv calling, so knowledgeable at Olympic Games and so full of enthusiasm no matter what he was commenting on, sad to see the end of an era but happy he will have more time with family.

  3. This is sad news, but also happy news for Bruce! Have a great retirement buddy! We will miss you for sure on Friday & Saturday nights! I hope his leukaemia battle is going alright. I wonder who’s going to replace him?

    • TheMighty_SC

      Brayshaw is tipped to replace Bruce for FNF with BT.
      Bruce will still call the 2021 Summer Olympics but due to travel restrictions, will he call from a studio?

  4. RightWingConservative

    That’s sad news as a viewer, but also good to see someone with the grace to take a step back while they are still in pretty good form. I’m happy for Bruce that he will be able to spend more time with family and still be able to participate in various events for Seven without the arduous travel schedule.

    Generally I prefer radio commentary of football as the commentators can’t assume the audience can see the game and thus are forced to remain a bit more focused on play than the TV commentators, however I have always appreciated Bruce’s mastery of TV commentary. He’s one of the select few on TV who manage to avoid my mute button. It’s hard to give much higher praise than to say, in a world of choices, I chose to listen to Bruce. Many thanks for your commentary Bruce.

  5. I must say I’m surprised. I thought he’d want to go out on a ‘normal’ AFL season and he hadn’t given any hint of this until now. In fact he spoke late last year of his career being extended as he could call some footy games from Adelaide. For those wondering his replacement is James Brayshaw.

  6. “While he will still be a part of Seven’s AFL team, he won’t call matches” So maybe hosting games that are in Adelaide?. Also who is replacing him on Friday? Anyone new or someone already part of the 7AFL team?

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