Off the Wall

I will have more on the AFL's television rights agreement tomorrow, but is apparent that while the AFL has done well, Foxtel has done even better.

And that is where my concerns about the NRL deal lies...but more on that tomorrow.

The $1.25 billion figure highlighted by the AFL today needs scrutiny. The devil will be in the detail - such as the real cash component, calculated after advertising/marketing contributions are taken out.

Whatever that figure is, it will be well above the $780 million the current deal delivers.

Foxtel is the winner because it gets to cover all NINE AFL matches each weekend live.

It will simulcast three games live with Channel Seven.

Channel Seven gets four games a week - three of which will be shown live.

That puts the free to air viewing majority in a significantly better position than NRL fans get now.

Free to air viewers of NRL matches currently get just ONE game live, and two on replay.

The pressure will surely now be on for whoever gets our free to air rights to deliver an absolute minimum of two games live a week.

Saturday night perhaps? Or even Saturday afternoon?

The current NRL breakup is something like this - one game live on free to air, two other games replayed, and four games live on Foxtel...though viewers can usually pick which 7.30 Saturday night game they see live.

The AFL's deal which guarantees all nine fixtures each weekend will be shown live on pay, with three live on free to air will surely be a benchmark the NRL cannot ignore in its negotiations.

The AFL gets around $400 million more over five years than it gets under the current deal.

If the NRL gets the same increase it will still be close to $250 million inferior to the AFL.

That would, quite frankly be an injustice.

But more on that tomorrow.

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