The AFL is reportedly unhappy with Channel 7’s coverage of the sport since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially one huge “mistake”.
The AFL is reportedly unhappy with Channel 7’s coverage of the sport since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, specifically the free-to-air broadcaster’s “strange” decision to cut its footy talk shows.
Speaking on Channel 9’s Footy Classified, former Fremantle coach Ross Lyon vented his frustration at Seven’s coverage of the sport, specifically the decision to dump talk shows Game Day and Talking Footy after the Covid-19 pandemic.
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“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.”
Veteran footy reporter Caroline Wilson confirmed that AFL bosses were disappointed with Channel 7’s coverage of the sport.
“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 explained.
“There is a frustration with some of Seven’s coverage from AFL headquarters, we know that.”
The Age’s Sam McClure continued: “I think there was disappointment when Seven decided — albeit in really tough times — to lose shows like Game Day and Talking Footy, which help provide fans with a different look of the game.”
Speaking on SEN’s SA Breakfast, former Port Adelaide star Kane Cornes argued it was a “mistake” for Channel 7 to dump their talk show programs.
“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.”
Channel 7 currently owns exclusive free-to-air broadcast rights for the AFL, but a report from The Age suggests that Network Ten and streaming partner Paramount Plus are preparing a joint bid to secure the rights from the end of 2024.
According to the report, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan, broadcast boss Travis Auld and the league’s general counsel Andrew Dillon have flown to the United States to meet with streaming services Paramount and Amazon.
Channel 10 previously served as a broadcast partner for the AFL from 2002 to 2011, sharing the rights with Nine, Channel 7 and Foxtel.
Originally published as AFL reportedly frustrated with Channel 7’s footy ’mistake’