Reports of a new AFL documentary series to feature on Amazon Prime could spark a historic TV rights deal.
The Age revealed today Eddie McGuire’s media company McGuire Media has sold the rights for a series of football club documentaries to be shown on Amazon Prime as soon as the end of this year.
Collingwood (the club McGuire is President of) and Sydney are expected to feature as part of the series.
Speaking on Triple M, McGuire said “there is some fact and some fiction in there” about the reported story.
If the documentaries do come to fruition, the consequences could be far-reaching.
The Age confirmed the move “initially angered” Foxtel, which paid $1.3 billion over six-year for the current AFL broadcast deal with Telstra and Channel Seven, and also employs McGuire as a host and commentator on Fox Footy.
The AFL last week revealed it posted a $48.5 million profit in 2019.
This is largely still on the back of the mega broadcast deal the organisation signed in 2015, which sees Channel Seven, Foxtel and Telstra collectively fork out $418 million a year to show the game.
While Rugby Australia struggles to find a suitor for its broadcast deal, the AFL is well-placed to secure another big broadcast deal, which will next be available in 2023.
However, with Seven West Media’s share price having recently hit a record low and Foxtel recording a $417 million loss for 2019, there are concerns around what the next deal might look like.
“The AFL’s a bit concerned at the moment of the value of the TV rights,” said AFL reporter Tom Browne on Triple M.
“That’s where most of the money came from. Foxtel’s competing against other TV now, Apple, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney.
“Seven’s profitable on a paper basis, but their share price is under tremendous pressure, so the AFL needs competitive tension in the rights deal, and a perfect candidate for that competitive tension would be Amazon getting involved in the rights.”
It has previously been reported AFL CEO Gil McLachlan told club bosses that he has been approached by a tech giant that is interested in securing the game’s rights.
If the AFL documentaries do come to life, it would accompany Amazon’s upcoming series on the Australian cricket team, which is set to launch on Amazon Prime next month.