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Free to Air TV Losing Money and Shedding Jobs - What does that mean for footy?



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Given the AFL receives the bulk of its revenue from TV rights money, we now see free to air channels laying people off, due to diminishing advertising revenue.

If this trend continues, I would be interested to learn of Demonlanders' thoughts as to what this might mean to the game we love so much

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Most international sports (and now in Australia) are either majority/solely pay for view as free to air can no longer compete with subscription TV. 

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42 minutes ago, Jibroni said:

Most international sports (and now in Australia) are either majority/solely pay for view as free to air can no longer compete with subscription TV. 

This. It goes behind the paywall and hopefully that k n o b B T loses his job 

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51 minutes ago, Jibroni said:

Most international sports (and now in Australia) are either majority/solely pay for view as free to air can no longer compete with subscription TV. 

this is true, but there's little / no incentive for international streaming providers - such as amazon - to invest in afl, or nrl, as we are small, domestic sports with tiny followings locally in the grand scheme of global spend

there's no halo effect for prime, netflix, apple to sign up for afl or nrl like there is for c7 etc. from a fta perspective

a reckoning is coming for the tv rights of these two sports and it might not be pretty

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Free TV is a mixed bag.  Some shows make money and others don't.  Its areas around news that is losing money, hence the decline in news services to be centralised.  

The question is, does AFL make channel 7 money compared to the cost.  I would say the bean counters got it right for at least this agreement as the infrastructure is in place to record and broadcast.  

I subscribe to Kayo, simply because I'm in WA and 2 of the games are always a weagles/dorkers game.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, I'va Worn Smith said:

Given the AFL receives the bulk of its revenue from TV rights money, we now see free to air channels laying people off, due to diminishing advertising revenue.

If this trend continues, I would be interested to learn of Demonlanders' thoughts as to what this might mean to the game we love so much

Will be a sad day when free-to-air footy goes. Particularly for the many who can’t afford to watch via any other means. 

Murdoch’s dunderhead kid will eventually have the entire competition in his grip, jack the prices up (even more) and the sport will eventually become accessible to only those who can afford it. 

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Free to Air TV in this country is some of the most lazy, uninspired content on the planet. Television in Australia doesn’t know what to do in 2025, so it’s doing what it did in 1995 and wondering why the results are different. At this stage most free to air TV is literally aiming to be background noise while people scroll through their phones on the coach. It all needs to go and be rethought.

The big sports are fortunate in that their immediacy gives them more cultural currency, so it has a lot of value to local advertisers. I wouldn’t by worried about AFL, NRL, or cricket. And I wouldn’t be upset about free to air killing jobs. They chose to do nothing for a long time with their content, and it’s well overdue to be reimagined.

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Some really great points in this thread.  I dont think the issue is with AFL broadcasting losing money, but the Free to Air channels being run poorly.  It's still (largely) a boys club at the top, with lots of back slapping and long lunches.  Kind of like the Melbourne board in the bad old days.

As per the above, most of the FTA content is below the standard of streaming services, but they do have high rating content like the Footy and (mysteriously) MAFs (the highest rating show in the Country?).

I would love to see the blowtorch being focused on AFL broadcasting to make it a product that is easy to consume to help grow the game.

Cricket had a similar issue years ago until Nine sacked Brad McNamara.  It's still not the greatest commentary, but the insights and range of opinions is a welcome change.  Look at how much Cricket has grown since then - participation rates and viewers.

 

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At this point in time I dare say the Free to Air channels will be throwing every dollar they have at broadcast rights, as sport is likely one of the few ways the free to air channels can remain relevant. Sport, mostly AFL and cricket are about the only reason I still watch free to air TV. 

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9 hours ago, Mel Bourne said:

Will be a sad day when free-to-air footy goes. Particularly for the many who can’t afford to watch via any other means. 

Murdoch’s dunderhead kid will eventually have the entire competition in his grip, jack the prices up (even more) and the sport will eventually become accessible to only those who can afford it. 

if / when uncle rupe dies in the next decade - and he's every chance of living into his 110s, given his lineage - then james is going to sue the ever-loving pantsuits out of lachlan to try and get control of news corpse

lachlan hasn't been in charge of a business that he hasn't run into the ground so james better hope it's sooner rather than later given his bro's track record as the man in charge

as such, the afl and nrl must be watching the machinations at news warily given how much of the broadcast revenue they contribute towards

3 minutes ago, D Rev said:

Cricket had a similar issue years ago until Nine sacked Brad McNamara.  It's still not the greatest commentary, but the insights and range of opinions is a welcome change.  Look at how much Cricket has grown since then - participation rates and viewers.

and didn't kerry stokes sack tim worner more or less specifically cos of the $$s he invested in cricket vs the roi it generated?

cricket is great for revenue IF - and only if - india is involved, and that's only for money coming out of india

it's why amazon is more than happy to pony up for icc tournaments like the t20 / odi world cups etc; they know they can generate return from it broadcasting back to the subcontinent

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21 minutes ago, D Rev said:

Some really great points in this thread.  I dont think the issue is with AFL broadcasting losing money, but the Free to Air channels being run poorly.  It's still (largely) a boys club at the top, with lots of back slapping and long lunches.  Kind of like the Melbourne board in the bad old days.

As per the above, most of the FTA content is below the standard of streaming services, but they do have high rating content like the Footy and (mysteriously) MAFs (the highest rating show in the Country?).

I would love to see the blowtorch being focused on AFL broadcasting to make it a product that is easy to consume to help grow the game.

Cricket had a similar issue years ago until Nine sacked Brad McNamara.  It's still not the greatest commentary, but the insights and range of opinions is a welcome change.  Look at how much Cricket has grown since then - participation rates and viewers.

 

It’s actually a golden opportunity to completely revise the commentary and adopt the UK Premier League’s one-commentator approach. Or bugger it, just crowd noise! 

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2 hours ago, D Rev said:

Some really great points in this thread.  I dont think the issue is with AFL broadcasting losing money, but the Free to Air channels being run poorly.  It's still (largely) a boys club at the top, with lots of back slapping and long lunches.  Kind of like the Melbourne board in the bad old days.

As per the above, most of the FTA content is below the standard of streaming services, but they do have high rating content like the Footy and (mysteriously) MAFs (the highest rating show in the Country?).

I would love to see the blowtorch being focused on AFL broadcasting to make it a product that is easy to consume to help grow the game.

Cricket had a similar issue years ago until Nine sacked Brad McNamara.  It's still not the greatest commentary, but the insights and range of opinions is a welcome change.  Look at how much Cricket has grown since then - participation rates and viewers.

 

The revenue from MAFS alone paid for the acquisition of Fairfax by Nine. Let that sink in.

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13 hours ago, darkhorse72 said:

Free TV is a mixed bag.  Some shows make money and others don't.  Its areas around news that is losing money, hence the decline in news services to be centralised.  

The question is, does AFL make channel 7 money compared to the cost.  I would say the bean counters got it right for at least this agreement as the infrastructure is in place to record and broadcast.  

I subscribe to Kayo, simply because I'm in WA and 2 of the games are always a weagles/dorkers game.

 

 

 

Actually, although they are laying off journalists, news is one of the few areas FTA tv has an advantage. Drama production is non-existent, unless you count H & Away and Neighbours. News and games shows and sport is pretty much all they have. There's a big query over whether we need three commercial FTA networks. The answer is probably that only one can stay healthy.

As for sport, unless the Fed Government extends anti-siphoning rules, and it does not appear so, it's going behind a paywall.

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It'll pick up as more cable networks move to F2A like Nickelodeon has and how Sky News has on Samsung TV. 

Once Paramount, HBO/WB etc start expanding their F2A/advertising options It'll push people back to commercial television.

It's in a transitional period atm. The subscription model is buckling under the weight of options and cost of living crisis. People turned their back on piracy in favour of convenience as more options became available at an affordable price. Now with everyone raising prices people are going back to piracy. 

We'll go full circle in the next decade. We'll have 50+ F2A channels by the end of the decade.

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30 minutes ago, praha said:

It'll pick up as more cable networks move to F2A like Nickelodeon has and how Sky News has on Samsung TV. 

Once Paramount, HBO/WB etc start expanding their F2A/advertising options It'll push people back to commercial television.

It's in a transitional period atm. The subscription model is buckling under the weight of options and cost of living crisis. People turned their back on piracy in favour of convenience as more options became available at an affordable price. Now with everyone raising prices people are going back to piracy. 

We'll go full circle in the next decade. We'll have 50+ F2A channels by the end of the decade.

This is all speculation, spoken with a questionable degree of certainty. 

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3 hours ago, D Rev said:

Some really great points in this thread.  I dont think the issue is with AFL broadcasting losing money, but the Free to Air channels being run poorly.  It's still (largely) a boys club at the top, with lots of back slapping and long lunches.  Kind of like the Melbourne board in the bad old days.

As per the above, most of the FTA content is below the standard of streaming services, but they do have high rating content like the Footy and (mysteriously) MAFs (the highest rating show in the Country?).

I would love to see the blowtorch being focused on AFL broadcasting to make it a product that is easy to consume to help grow the game.

Cricket had a similar issue years ago until Nine sacked Brad McNamara.  It's still not the greatest commentary, but the insights and range of opinions is a welcome change.  Look at how much Cricket has grown since then - participation rates and viewers.

 

I subscribe to kayo purely on the basis of quality. Analysis commentary and range of shows.

Ch 7 are stuck in the 70s and treat the viewers like children. Their refusal to move on bt a prime example of not noticing the meteor has hit. Having said that afl360 is now a shadow and not on my must watch list any more. Footy classified likewise.

Watch the Sunday Footy show to see how low the fat bar is

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16 hours ago, Little Goffy said:

Well, I for one will be much more concerned about how farmers are going to find wives in this bleak future.

 

And whether people marrying people at first sight will stay together and how actually horrible those people truly are.

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1 hour ago, praha said:

We'll go full circle in the next decade. We'll have 50+ F2A channels by the end of the decade.

we have what, about 30, effectively, now?

and yet there's barely anything on them worth watching...as someone upthread said, there's a dearth of quality tv and the cost goes towards live sport - as it's 'must see in the moment' tv - and reality / game shows, as they're super cheap to make and able to drive a profit due to sponsorships etc.

26 minutes ago, Demon17 said:

I subscribe to kayo purely on the basis of quality. Analysis commentary and range of shows.

Ch 7 are stuck in the 70s and treat the viewers like children. Their refusal to move on bt a prime example of not noticing the meteor has hit. Having said that afl360 is now a shadow and not on my must watch list any more. Footy classified likewise.

Watch the Sunday Footy show to see how low the fat bar is

there's a longstanding rumour that ch7 don't pay for bt - his wage is paid thru a sponsor agreement which helps lower ch7's overheads by about $1m a year

the shows on fox footy (via foxtel or kayo) are absolutely appalling in terms of their analysis and coverage; the only good show they had for YEARS was "open mike" and that ended when sheahan 'retired'

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Sport was viewed by FTA as cheap content. Reality shows are cheaper still.

As sport increases in cost the problems are obvious for FTA.

Streaming isn't the answer unless you are prepared to pay around $100 per month for your sports. Kayo is haemorraghing dollars based on what it is paying for NRL, AFL and cricket alone. Just a matter of time until they insert ads

The days of loss leaders in small markets like Australia is coming to an end.

 

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17 hours ago, Jibroni said:

Most international sports (and now in Australia) are either majority/solely pay for view as free to air can no longer compete with subscription TV. 

We only have one subscription TV channel so the competition to force prices up for the AFL will be non existent.

Not sure what the viewing stats are but I would guess at least 65-70% of viewing on AFL is still FTA

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