The AFL is “on the verge” of announcing a two-year extension on its broadcast rights deal, despite shortening to 2020 season to accomodate for the COVID-19 outbreak.
That’s according to journalist Caroline Wilson, who spoke about the developing situation on Footy Classified.
While the NRL looks to press on with its season in any way it can, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan yesterday announced the home and away season would be shortened to 17 rounds, as opposed to the regular 23-round season.
As a result, the broadcast deal – which sees Foxtel, Seven and Telstra pay the AFL a combined $418 million per year – has been reduced “15-20 per cent”, according to Wilson.
It is understood the players are set to take a pay cut for 2020 as a result of the decision.
Despite 2020 presenting some clear financial issues for the code, the long-term future of the game appears to be safe.
“Behind the scenes, the AFL is on the verge of announcing a two-year extension on the broadcast rights deal that currently runs until 2022,” said Wilson.
“My belief is that it will happen, it will be announced within months, potentially one month. The current media rights deal will remain largely unchanged until 2024.
“The deal was on the verge of being done in the first half of this season. Clearly things are changing by the day, but talking to all parties, no one has denied to me that it won’t go ahead.”
There had been speculation a tech giant such as Amazon was set to swoop in and snare the AFL rights.
If correct, Wilson’s revelation would mean Amazon will have to wait another two years before it can secure the deal.
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