The AFL’s $2.5 billion TV rights deal with Seven, Foxtel and Telstra has helped the company post a profit of $48.5 million in 2019.
The AFL released its financial results yesterday, detailing annual revenue of $793.8 million, up $15.3 million from the previous year.
The increase was “due to broadcast rights agreements and record commercial revenue”, said the AFL.
While the exact advertising revenue wasn’t revealed, existing sponsorship deals with brands like Toyota, McDonald’s, Telstra, Carlton Draught and NAB no doubt contributed to this record commercial revenue.
The existing broadcast rights agreement saw Channel Seven, Foxtel and Telstra fork out a huge $2.5 billion – or $418 million per year – in 2015, for the rights from 2017-2022.
The current financial health of the AFL will no doubt play a role when CEO Gil McLachlan and his team begin negotiating the next deal.
It had previously been suggested a tech giant such as Amazon or Facebook could make a play for rights, starting from 2023.
This is something the incumbent broadcasters are aware of, according to a report in The Australian last year.
“The networks know the streaming services are going to be a player in the next deal – so should the local TV players lock it in before the global giants come along,” and AFL source told The Oz.
Due to current financial issues at broadcast partners Foxtel and Seven, it has been suggested the AFL will need a major streaming service to come on board just to match the existing deal.
The Age reported last year the AFL is “in talks” with Seven to extend the domestic rights deal for a further two years.
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