The AFL is unhappy with Channel Seven’s coverage of the game and axing of popular shows

Why Channel Seven’s coverage of the game is on the nose with the AFL at precisely the WRONG time as bidding war looms over broadcast rights

  • The AFL is currently negotiating the next television rights deal for the code
  • It is likely to include global streaming and Channel 10 is assembling a big pitch
  • Seven may struggle to retain the rights after recent broadcast decisions 
  • That includes cutting two popular shows that has earned the ire of the AFL 

The AFL, commentators and fans are united in disappointment with Channel Seven’s coverage of the sport as the new television rights negotiations heat up.

There is set to be a bidding war for the rights to secure the next AFL TV broadcast rights and Network Ten has signalled its intentions to go hard in tandem with their streaming partner Paramount Plus in a joint mega-bid.

Channel Seven is not doing itself any favours with decisions like the ones that saw the axe fall on popular shows on Game Day on Sunday mornings and Talking Footy on Monday night.

Former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon told Footy Classified many pundits were shocked by those announcements – allegedly made because of Covid cuts.

‘It’s more than the broadcasting of the game, I love the shows wrapped around it,’ he said on Wednesday evening.

‘I love the Sunday morning football shows, I get a wrap of the whole round … we haven’t got that on Seven. I don’t see the investment wrapped around the game, personally.

‘You have Wayne Carey, Leigh Matthews and Tim Watson, but you don’t hear them in a show carving and diving deeper.’

Cameron Ling, Wayne Carey and Hamish McLachlan commentate for Seven during the round two AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Adelaide Crows. The network is on the nose with the AFL and fans after cancelling popular footy shows

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, broadcast boss Travis Auld and the league’s general counsel Andrew Dillon are currently in the US where they are speaking to streaming services such as Paramount, Amazon and YouTube with the next television rights bid to likely include global streaming options.

Veteran AFL reporter Caroline Wilson said the officials in the AFL were not happy with Channel Seven, which could influence the ongoing negotiations.

‘There was definitely disappointment at AFL HQ when Seven, who did have a Sunday morning show and did have a Monday night show, dumped those shows during Covid for financial reasons,’ she said.

‘There is a frustration with some of Seven’s coverage from AFL headquarters, we know that.’ 

Port Adelaide legend Kane Cornes echoed the sentiments of Lyon and Wilson on SEN’s SA Breakfast. 

‘The fact they don’t have shows like Game Day on a Sunday morning and like Talking Footy on a Monday night is a strange call for me,’ he said.

‘The host broadcaster should be dominating the weekly schedule.

‘Foxtel are doing that, Channel 9 have three shows, and the host broadcaster doesn’t have one.

‘I think that has been a mistake for them and you lose that analysis in and around the games.’