Almanac AFL Discussion: will there be less free-to-air sport in the future?

With there being no  AFL game on channel 7 on Sunday, this begs the question, will there be less free-to-air sport in the future?

It very much looks like it’s going that way, with less and less sport being on free-to-air, for example there is only 4 AFL games on channel 7 (3 being live) and the rest on pay TV (Fox Footy.) The Australian Financial Review have this very discussion:

“The big football codes have held discussions with giant multi-national digital companies such as Netflix, Fetch TV and Google over joining the race for broadcast rights as a bold new era of sports broadcasting beckons.”


To read the AFR article about the broadcast rights click here


  1. cowshedend says

    You mean to say that there’s AFL on free to air now? Footscray haven’t seen free to air since Jonco’s went out of business.
    Thought the reason why every Collingwood game was covered by free to air is because it’s cheaper to braodcast in Black and White

  2. Sal Ciardulli says

    How much of a dent would it put into Foxtel subscriptions if Channel 7 were to bid for the rights lock, stock and barrel and use their multi-channel capability to ensure all games are FTA?

    Probably minimal effect on NSW and QLD, but significant for the rest of the country methinks. Will be closely watching the eventual outcome of the racing brouhaha, where hopefully Vic racing will be on FTA digital and available to everyone as opposed to the tie up with SkyChannel and restricted to cable subscribers.

  3. Mick Jeffrey says

    It would be a bigger dent if 9 went alone and bid for all the NRL.

  4. Alistair Watson says

    You mean ‘invites the question’ or some such not ‘begs the question’.

  5. I think it’s just a matter of time until the vast majority of live sport (not just the major Australian codes) is only available through paid services – whether that be Pay TV, or live streaming websites or apps.

    The big international leagues – EPL, La Liga, NFL, Formula 1, baseball and pro Basketball are already only available through Foxtel, so I wonder if the (eventual?) roll-out of the NBN will impact the amount the FTA networks are prepared to spend once the ability to access the ‘product’ through new media is more widespread?

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