TV rights deal revealed as Gil talks night GF
The AFL has extended its broadcast rights deal with pay-TV giant Foxtel until the end of 2024.
In a pre-Christmas win for league boss Gillon McLachlan, both Foxtel and digital rights holder Telstra have signed on for two extra seasons.
Free-to-air provider Channel 7 extended its own deal with the AFL for the same period in June as part of revised arrangements struck with the competition's broadcast partners during the COVID-19 shutdown.
But the AFL said the total value of its new two-year deals with Foxtel, Seven and Telstra was $946 million.
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Foxtel, which pays the lion's share of the game's TV money, will continue to air all nine home-and-away matches live each week on its Fox Footy channel and Kayo streaming service.
Seven maintains exclusive access to the AFL Grand Final, while Telstra revealed it had plans to improve the digital experience for fans at Marvel Stadium.
McLachlan said the extended TV deals gave the industry greater financial certainty following a season hammered by the COVID crisis.
"This is a massive vote of confidence in our game," McLachlan said.
Asked about when the AFL would make a decision on the start time for the 2021 Grand Final after this year's historic night decider, McLachlan said: "We are going through a thorough review of the Gabba night Grand Final. We are talking and liaising with our research department and speaking with our clubs and footy departments and players and everyone involved.
"We are aiming for that report to be finalised in March, which means the decision will probably be made in April."
McLachlan said he had been a supporter of a day Grand Final but was "open" to a night match and would await the findings of the report.
"It was an incredible experience at the Gabba for those of us who were fortunate enough to be there, and so I think my decision will be better informed and my view of the commission's decision will be better informed by a proper engagement process that we are going through with all industry figures and supporters," he said.
"I'm looking forward to seeing where that goes."
Originally published as TV rights deal revealed as Gil talks night GF