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Major Broadcast Announcements Increase Accessibility To Sport


Broadcasting provides a major spike in revenue for many governing bodies and leagues around the world, with 2022 following this trend with new announcements.

In January, Seven struck a deal with the NFL to continue broadcasting the league until 2024, before a March announcement from Foxtel and Kayo revealed they had retained the broadcast rights for Formula 1.

Fast forward to July and Formula 1 was in the news again, this time with a reported US$90 million with ESPN, for their rights in the US.

In August, Foxtel and Kayo hit the news again, this time winning the rights to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, which was followed by Stan Sport announcing the acquisition of the 2023 Rugby World Cup broadcasting rights.

September was kicked off with a bang when the AFL announced a $4.5 billion extension with Seven and Kayo:

This partnership will provide unprecedented levels of financial support to invest more in ensuring every person who wants to play footy will be able to play footy. It will allow us to invest heavily in expanding our reach into the local community and also to invest in the next generation through more digital products that are targeted at attracting kids and providing a pathway to engaging physically with our game – Gillon McLachlan, AFL CEO

The BBC then ended September by winning the UK broadcast rights to the Rugby League World Cup, before the 2022 NRL Grand Final was announced in October as the lowest viewed decider in history.

Additionally, October, saw Seven win the free-to-air broadcast rights of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

AFL Broadcast deal

AFL Secures $4.5 billion broadcast deal

This year, the AFL came to terms with Seven West Media and Fox Sports on a broadcast rights deal worth $4.5 billion.

The deal means Channel Seven and Fox Footy will continue to be the home of the AFL until the 2031 season.

The deal will see Thursday night games scheduled for the first 15 rounds beginning in 2025, to be shown on free-to-air along with marquee matches like ANZAC Day Eve, ANZAC Day, Dreamtime and all finals matches.

Additionally, 30 AFLW games will be broadcast on Seven each season.

Commenting on the new deal, AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan, said: “This partnership will provide unprecedented levels of financial support to invest more in ensuring every person who wants to play footy will be able to play footy.”

Low Numbers For First Post-COVID Grand Final Season

The NRL Grand Final viewership fell to the lowest in the game’s history with only 2,367,000 people tuning in to watch the decider between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels.

1.6 million of those viewers were from Australia’s metro markets while the regional audience made up an additional 700,000.

While the two largest metro markets didn’t hit all-time lows, they both experienced lower engagement than the 2021 fixture, with 837,000 Sydney-Siders and 252,000 Melbournians tuned in.

Traditional TV numbers were also down, with streaming seeing a 7% up tick with 389,000 viewers.

Seven’s intention is to terminate the [Media Rights Agreement (MRA)] conditional on the federal court granting a declaration that Seven is entitled to do so – A statement from Seven Network

Seven launched court action against cricket Australia

Seven West Media launched federal court proceedings against Cricket Australia (CA) in June.

The broadcaster claimed the cricket administrators had breached their contract amid struggling Big Bash League viewership.

The dispute that began in 2020 put the $450 million deal, along with the 2023 cricket broadcast schedule in the hands of federal court.

Despite COVID-19 player losses, a reduced rate requested by Seven was dismissed by CA after they managed to complete a full season of scheduled matches.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the timing of these proceedings may create  a better negotiating position for Seven come the 2024 broadcast rights cycle.

FIFA Rejects Bids For Women’s World Cup

FIFA took a stand for how the Women’s World Cup media rights are valued by broadcasters, after they rejected a number of bids from around Europe, for being too low.

FIFA chief partnerships and media officer, Romy Gai said bids have been rejected by the tournament organisers due to a lack of willingness of broadcasters to pay what the women’s game deserves.

According to Gai, with 20% of the audience size, the women’s World Cup is only valued at roughly 2% of what the men’s is.

“We know the opportunity for women’s football is there, now, together, we need to capture it,” Gai said.

Foxtel Group expands partnership with WWE

Foxtel Group announced a multi-year broadcasting partnership with the WWE in Australia.

The new deal will see the launch of a 24/7 dedicated WWE channel on Foxtel, with live events also streamable on Foxtel Group’s streaming services, Kayo and Binge.

The WWE Network will also be integrated into Binge in January 2023, with WWE’s extensive library to be available on the platform.

Commenting on the deal, Foxtel Group chief content and commercial officer, Amanda Laing, said: “We are thrilled to remain the long-term partner of WWE, and be part of what will be an exciting new chapter for WWE in Australia.”

To round out 2022…

December saw Foxtel and Kayo become the home of Australian boxing as they partnered with No Limit Boxing, before the T20 World Cup broke a number of streaming records.

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