In the West, Channel 7’s approach beyond a joke

I’ve read a number of complaints in football magazines lately about Channel 7 and their decision to ‘conveniently’ only show the teams for the games which they are televising on their Thursday night news program.

Well not only are they excluding the teams they don’t show on the news on Thursday night, they’re shunning these games and ultimately what we as viewers want altogether. I know Foxtel have rights to games as well as Seven, but besides the commentary teams (love Cometti and co on a friday night and Taylor and co on a Saturday night), it’s starting to become a joke with Seven.

On Saturday night over here in the west, we had the Bombers v GWS game televised on Channel 7 (yet another week of watching the new kids on the block getting another smacking on a Saturday night), while over in Adelaide in one of, if not, the match of the round, were the red hot Crows taking on a resurgent Pies outfit. Now it’s not exactly rocket science to figure out which game would be more appealing to viewers, especially after already having to watch a number of thrashings of GWS on a Saturday night this year.

So come on 7, you’ve got the commentary teams in place, get your act together a bit, I’d hate to say I’d rather it and don’t really want SBS having to televise our footy and do a better job, and neither do you.


  1. What about earlier on Saturday when they showed the Hawks and Tigers on 2 hour delay!!! Would have saved Rick Kane having to erase the game off his VHS .
    Good on ya, Brandon. Stick it right up ’em.

  2. Jeff Dowsing says

    I don’t know exactly how the games are allocated, but when another GWS snore-fest is televised at the expense of the match of the round (accessible only to those in Adelaide or the few who can afford/justify Foxtel) then the billion dollar TV rights ain’t worth a pinch of poop in my book.

  3. pamela sherpa says

    Brandon , similarly, NSW viewers have had similar unappealing scheduling from the TV networks. For many years we have had to endure games with little appeal whilst the better games were not shown. For example all Swans games were and still are shown. Like you I think that a balance of games covering all teams needs to be shown. Ironically now that the Giants are in the competition we are getting the best coverage we have ever had. We get Friday night footy at 7.30 on 7Mate. During the ch 9 years we had to wait til near midnight for the Friday night game. We get Saturday footy live , then two games on a Sunday , plus footy flashbacks prior to that. It’s great . Ironically, I like watching the GWS games because I am following them. But the difference now is that we get a good coverage of other games. ‘About time’ is all I can say. I do hope you get a better deal in the future.

  4. Mark Doyle says

    This seems like another whinge. The AFL coverage by Foxtell is excellent with all nine games shown live in all states at an inexpensive price and no ads. interupting the game. Foxtell costs approximately $100 per month, which is 5/8th’s of ‘bugger all’ in our affluent society. People I know in Sydney, Brisbane, Alexander Headland, Wagga and Canberra are particularly pleased because they get their AFL footy fix at a reasonable time.

  5. DBalassone says

    There are 2 or 3 monumental problems with Channel 7s coverage. The delay of the Saturday afternoon game is an act of treachery from Ch 7. Weren’t they meant to show 4 games live? They just want to lead into their depressing 6pm news. They have also convinced the AFL to delay Sunday afternoon games – yes you are watching it live, but waiting to 3:15pm for the centre bounce is an eternity – once again they want it to finish just when their 6pm news is starting. The game finishes, and you have virtually no analysis but cross straight to the news. Is it just me, but I find this period of the day depressing? Also re Saturday night coverage (and I agree with the above that BT is great) but do you notice they don’t give any score updates of the foxtel game, until after the game. They don’t even mention the score at half time.
    But WORST of all (and I know I am whinging and have said this before) is the camera angles that are used during live play. Once the ball is kicked to the forward line, they switch to a close-up ground level camera view where you completely lose perspective – you don’t know where the player is in relation to goal or his opponent – a worm would have a better view of the play than the poor tv viewer. Often you don’t even see the ball travel through the goals, because the cameras are showing the player rather than the ball, after it leaves his boot. This is a DISGRACE. It’s like watching cricket and missing the bowler bowl the ball – and just crossing to a view of the ball three-quarters of the way to the fence.
    The one time when the camera angle has to be the traditional, conventional side-on camera view is when a player has a snapshot at goal.

  6. Intellectual morons, Mark. Anyone who doesn’t find $1200 a year for foxtel in these heady days of job security and a burgeoning economy is simply unAustralian.

  7. I think the final step of Buddhism might involve forgiving Brett Kirk for his inane reportage during the game.

  8. Mr Litza – I can tell that you are a Carlton supporter not a Buddhist. The founding principles of Buddhism are suffering, acceptance and impermanence. You just choose to get yours in a different way.

  9. Dave Nadel says

    Mark, Do you work for Rupert Murdoch or are you just a media whore by temperament?

    When the VFL first went semi-national and moved the Swans to Sydney, old Swans fans were promised that even though they were no longer able to see as many football matches as they had, they would always be able to see their team on TV. Similar promises were made to fans when the VFL became seriously national with the admission of West Coast and Brisbane and later again when the remains of Fitzroy were moved to Brisbane. I am not sure what promises were made in Perth and Adelaide but I suspect there were some.

    Despite Australia’s relative prosperity it may surprise Mark to know that many Australian’s can’t afford $1,200 per year for Foxtel. Amongst others you could include pensioners, many recent immigrants, many indigenous people, and a lot of former employees of manufacturing and small business who are the victims of the world of Murdoch, Rinehart, the Big 4 banks, Telstra etc. that Mark loves so much.

    The pensioners are particularly relevant here. While it is unrealistic to assume that Demetriou would be bound by promises made by Aylett and Oakley two or three decades ago, the former Melbourne Swan and Lions fans (and players) are exactly the people whose teams are now mostly shown on Foxtel which they cannot afford.

  10. Ripsnorter says


    Get real – do you think everything should be free – I live in the west and love the fact I can watch all games live now, not even counting cricket, soccer, horse racing and a host of other sports for $60 per month – that is $15 per week. The cost of two beers at the pub or a pack of cigarettes.
    I think most people in Australia have $15 a week to spend on themselves or am I living in a different country to you. Besides there is so much more free to air football from when the these promises were made in the eighties, think you are way off the mark here.
    TV is a commodity which needs to be paid for either by the government, sponsors or the users – frankly I would rather have my taxes spent on providing good essential services than people watching live sport for free.

  11. Jeff Dowsing says

    Personally I barely have enough time to watch the few worthwhile shows on FTA each week. So to spend a fair whack of money on pay tv that could be used to pay the mortgage, buy clothes for the kids & other kinda important stuff is just a luxury I’ll live without. I dare say there’s plenty others in the same boat. So whilst we’re saturated with AFL content, the stuff that matters has been made more exclusive.

    I’m just confused as to how this is progress…

  12. You are right on the ball there Jeff. As I said to the Avenging Eagle last night as I sat on the couch pretending not to watch the Asher Keddie Perv Hour – sorry Offspring, and waited for the Good Wife to come on (I am more an Alicia man myself – Kalinda is anorexic). I fancy myself as Will Gardener in the next life. He wants to be Baseball Commissioner, and he is a reformed punter who had a few scrapes. And he has had it off with Alicia without the responsibilities.
    More likely I’ll come back as Chauncey Gardener. Or I am already and I’m too conceited to have noticed.
    What was this thread about again?

  13. Ripsnorter says

    I see that you have seemed to acquire other non – essential entertainment based items such as the internet and television sets, guess you shouldn’t have to pay for these either. Channel seven is not a community service andthe amount of live football on television is not a great way to measure progress. Listen to the radio or go watch the local football all cheap good alternatives. Love the mortgage, kids clothes stuff – you forgot food on the table,wolves from the door and working families. Nearly had me voting for Julia for a second.

  14. Peter B – Agree, Kalinda does need to slow down and stop missing lunch. I’m with you on Alica & Will. But they’re just all too damned smart and good looking – they’re in the major league and I’m just a bat boy in the minors.

    That’s a bit of a leap you’re taking there Ripsnorter. I also share a house with a wife and kids who’d disagree on your ‘non essential’ essential entertainment items.

    All I know is there’s a 70, 71, 72, 73 & 74 on my dial now showing a lot of infomercial gumf and On the Buses repeats. Even a delayed broadcast or replay of games on the additional channels would almost be acceptable.

    We could get into a whole debate about anti-syphoning laws but I’m over politicians and politics just for now.

  15. Ben Footner says

    I’ve been absolutely disgusted by the amount of Saturday nights so far this year that have had no football telecast on free to air. On at least 3 occasions I have settled into the couch with a glass of red in hand ready for some footy only to look at the guide and find not a trace of it anywhere.

  16. Dave Nadel says

    Ripsnorter (what a grown up name!) and Mark for that matter. Only about 25% of Australians have Pay-TV. For some of us this may be a decision based on life isues or just taste – I could afford it but I wasn’t prepared to get Pay TV while my kids were still at school. Now, apart from Footy I’m just not interested, But the fact that 75% of the population does not have pay TV suggests that many, many, people cannot afford it.

    I expect to pay clubs (and therefore players and officials) and the AFL and the ground managers for providing footy. I expect to see Football and other major sport on free to air TV. Pay-TV is fine for sport that cannot generate enough ratings and therefore advertising revenue to be shown on free to air TV e.g hockey or baseball. When Pay TV shows football it should be because they are providing something that Free to air cannot and 30 ad free seconds after a goal is hardly enough. At the moment Foxtel has five exclusive games because of commercial decisions made by 7, Foxtel and the AFL. It gives a different meaning to the term match fixing but it does nothing for footy fans.

    I suspect, given the rather gormless political comment at the end of your post, Ripsnorter, that you are a well paid single person in your twenties enjoying the extended adolesence that that yuppies in unproductive jobs like marketting often indulge in. No doubt you have ingested somewhere in your education the ubiquitous neoliberal economics which has created a whole class of business people devoid of social conscience. Because you are living in Australia where a combination of neoKeynesian measures taken by Rudd and some mining deals with China have modified the GFC you probably think these ideas are “common sense”. If you travelled to Greece, Ireland, Spain or even (increasingly) the USA you might have learned that NeoLiberalism, like Stalinist Communism, is an idea from the past that doesn’t work.

    And by the way the point I was making about promises is not affected by the number of free to air games on TV. The question is which games. Aging South and Fitzroy supporters do not want to see the high rating Collingwood, Carlton, West Coast and Adelade games unless they are against Sydney or Brisbane. At the moment free to air transmission favours the well supported teams. But that is not keeping promises to the people who lost their teams in the eighties and nineties.

  17. Ripsnorter says


    I am actually late thirties, two kids, no tertiary education and from a working class area although do feel my work is unproductive at times – so you were a little off the mark – I have a mortgage and all the usual bills to be paid.

    You were right about one thing though life is about choices. I choose to have Foxtel as I live in Western Australia and don’t want much from life in terms of material posessions but do want on a weekend to watch football live in my loungeroom whichever game I choose – I find this very good value at $15 per week – you obviously don’t – but it is a bit hard for me to get to watch Collingwood games from my yuppysville suburb here in Perth.

    Dave as you do like to use words like “I expect ” this and that I could easily guess that you “expect” a lot of things for free. I don’t – I expect I will be working for a long time and belive that pay television gives me an option to enjoy my football and other sports on a weekend. I agree the world is not perfect but uneducated as I am feel that paying for goods and services has been happening for some time and will continue doing so well into the future. Go to the pub Dave and enjoy a beer and watch the game although I expect you may have to pay for that too.

    When I grew up there was no live football on the television and I can’t remember it being a massive problem and now all this whinging happens when channel seven play the “wrong match” on a Saturday night. Please feel free to let me know if you come across an econimic model that works 100% – it would make you a rich man – maybe even have enough to get Foxtel.

  18. Marija Erceg says

    Hey Mark, Cookie and Ripsnoter, apologies but the AE can not remain silent on this issue. Since when has watching football become so exclusive? Since when has the Aussie spirit become so miserly? Now that is what I would call un Australian!!!

    I gladly spend my hard earned cash on yearly $1 200 plus memberships (for two) passionately following my team of choice. However, as a spirited football lover I marvell at the strategy, skill and passion of other teams and their supporters and would appreciate the CHOICE of watching other quality teams play.Not interested in Foxtel. I’ve already spent my pennies on my memberships. Besides, apart from the footy, for me, there is not too much to get passionate about on Foxtel anyway!

    I pay my taxes and as a magnanamous soul I have no objection to them going towards more qualtiy free to air football. In the name of all true AFL lovers, and equality for all , the more the better I say! Better that, than having my taxes wasted on some obscure initiative to boost some politician’s ego and/or their chances of re-election! Then YOU and the other 22,920,381 of our fellow Australians, can choose to either watch or not watch,

    By the way Cookie,(apologies if your comment was sarcasm in disguise), not everyone has job security, nor is everyone enjoying the fruits of a burgeoning economy. I guess you would want to get rid of the Commonwealth ‘Entitlement Model’ for basic jobs skills and Training as well. For the record, I’m happy for my taxes to go there as well.

    I’m with you Brandon. Wake up Channel 7, make it right ,and stop being so un Australian!

  19. Mark Doyle says

    This is a bemusing discussion with some comments being patronising and ignorant about footy spectator culture in various parts of the country. AFL football is not exclusive. It is inexpensive entertainment. If any of you people have had experience in other affluent countries such as Europe and North America, you would know that watching elite level sport live and on TV is more expensive than Australia.
    Dave, it is misleading to quote statistics. What did Mark Twain say: ‘lies, dammed lies and statistics’. I suspect that if you analysed the foxtel subscriptions, you would find that they are 40-50% in NSW and QLD because of the popularity of rugby league. In rural and remote areas they would be well above 50%.
    I personally prefer to watch AFL footy live because I believe that one gets a better perspective of the game strategy and I am fortunate to have access to 7 live games at Kardinia Park in Geelong plus 30 odd games at the MCG and Etihad Stadium in Melbourne plus finals as an AFL member. Foxtel provide me with a good service to watch all games. My only criticism of Foxtel is that they ‘axed’ ‘The Winners’ which was a one hour show and gave highlights and a summary for all games. ‘The Winners’was a great ABC concept in the 1970’s and provided a great service to people in all parts of the country.

  20. Dave Nadel says


    OK I apologise for some of my assumptions. In particular I wasn’t aware that you lived in Western Australia. As a Collingwood supporter myself, if I lived in WA I might be forced to buy Foxtel. However living in Melbourne I can buy two Legends memberships for a little more than you are paying for Foxtel. This not only gives me and rotating family members seats at the MCG and Docklands for 17 games (18 until this year), and guarantees me finals tickets (and therefor I only need TV when the Pies play interstate) it also means that most of the money goes to Collingwood Football Club. If I was paying it to Foxtel it would go to Rupert and his shareholders (who don’t need it) and whatever carpetbagger is mismanaging Telstra this year.

    The point of all this is that for much of my life I couldn’t have afforded this option. If I had young kids and the job that I had when I was your age (librarian) I couldn’t have afforded even one Legends membership much less two. But when I was in my late thirties Collingwood played home games at Victoria Park and away games in other Melbourne suburbs. Half of all grounds except Waverley was given over to standing room and at 38 I was fit enough to stand all afternoon. Not only could I afford to go to the footy, I could have afforded standing room even I had been on the dole.

    When you grew up (and I was in my late 30s) there was no live Television and it wasn’t a problem because there was live,cheap football every Saturday in your home town. The National League changed all that. Television, more than any other single factor, drove the move from local to national football and I don’t think it is unreasonable that television (Free to Air Television and especially Channel 7who did the deals in support of the original Swans move) I don’t think it is unreasonable that television provides access to the games for all the fans who can no longer attend matches in their home town. In the age of digital TV Channel Seven could show all nine games free and live to air. It’s not as if they don’t make money selling advertising shown during the games.

    Do I expect a lot of things for free? Not really, I expect the government to supply certain things from my taxes – and I expect freeloaders like Rinehart and Palmer to pay a much larger share of taxes than I do. Under the system that we live under you are expected to pay for goods and services but I would have thought that free to air TV does that. Seven buys the rights from the AFL. It sells advertising for high rating football which is watched by (amongst others) the demographic with the highest disposable income (males aged 19-34) who then buy the advertised product. Foxtel on the other hand buys the product in the hope that you will buy Pay TV. It is not using football to sell beer and cars it is using football to sell Pay TV, which frankly is a pretty poor deal. And in the process it denies footy to people who can’t afford Pay TV. And that is what I dislike.

  21. I think we are missing the point here. Isn’t (WA) Channel 7s biggest crime foisting Basil Zempilas upon the rest of Australia?

  22. Stephen Cooke says

    Two words, Mark – ignorant morons.

  23. Andrew Fithall says

    Mark Doyle. I have taken your statistical estimate for NSW and Queensland Foxtel use at the low end of your range of 40 to 50% which is 40%. Extrapolate that out and given the national penetration as 25%, that means that the penetration rate in the remainder of the country, including Victoria, is 8.3%.

    Please do not label your fellow Almanackers as ignorant. Or use misleading statistics.

  24. Michael Parker says

    Gus great point! Where did channel 7 get the idea that this bloke should be on TV? Thanks for breaking the ice this forum was getting a little heated

  25. Brandon Erceg says

    looks like it stirred the pot a bit. It was just a first post to get me started on here too, but I’m happy it caused some debate and got some conversation going.
    But I’m still pretty strong on the view and it’s backed up again this week. Yet another week we’re going to see Essendon on a saturday night, and although port adelaide v carlton at AAMI isn’t a blockbuster, I know I’d be a lot more interested in watching that game than Essendon v Melbourne. Essendon are playing good footy and are pretty good to watch, but its yet another saturday night we’ll be watching them on 7, and not only that but they’re televising it at 6:30 delayed while televising it on fox sports 1 live an hour earlier at 5:30, and this year Melbourne are just as bad and probably worse and a lot more disheartening than watching GWS. Where on the other hand we could be watching port possibly give Carlton shake and maybe cause an upset at home, so I know what I’d rather be watching.

  26. Rick Kane says

    Having a read over lunch and would like to make a couple of the least penetrating observation on this discussion.

    To Mr PB, I didn’t need the VCR or telly last week. I went to the game and it is seared into my brain. You’ve gotta win clearances to stand half a chance. And pressure will win you the footy. Hawks had little luck with the clearances and only stayed in the game up until late in the third because when they applied pressure, the Tiges faltered. Oh, sorry, this thread is not about my miserable weekend last but about TV and footy.

    So, to that point. I’m off to a pub on Bell St in Preston to watch the Hawks as soon as I hit submit because I don’t have Foxtel. At least it gets me out of the house. That’s all folks.

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