With Channel 7 holding the entire free-to-air rights for the AFL for the next 3 years, they’re gonna throw everything at it to ensure viewers re-associate Ch7 with the football brand. 2HOURS is an excellent example of this, providing behind the scenes footage and insight from the players and coaching teams involved in the 2011 AFL Grand Final. Hopefully now with less Meatloaf. Maybe it might even be shown in northern states too, on 7mate perhaps??? From the press release:

CHANNEL Seven will televise an exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary with unprecedented access on the epic 2011 AFL Grand Final following the NAB Cup Grand Final on Saturday March 17.

The one-hour documentary – entitled ‘2Hours’ – captures Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse’s extraordinary and emotional pre-match address. And it tells the stories behind the game, featuring interviews with Malthouse and Geelong coach Chris Scott, as well as Cats skipper Cameron Ling, Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell, Steve Johnson, Chris Dawes, Matthew Scarlett, Tom Lonergan, Jimmy Bartel, James Podsiadly and James Kelly.

Steve Johnson – famously in doubt for the match with a “wrenched” knee – reveals the challenges he went through to play in this Grand Final, even concealing the extent of his injury from teammates.

When several players arrived at Johnson’s house in the lead-up to the match, Johnson hid the fact he was icing his knee. “I had this blow-up ice thing on my knee and I just whipped that straight off and quickly hid it in the corner and answered the door,” he says. “He was icing up and hid the ice. He’s pretty cagey Stevie,” says Matthew Scarlett. “I don’t care if I ever walk again, as long as I get this premiership,” Johnson says of his mindset at the time.

Premiership winning Geelong captain and now Channel 7 AFL commentator Cameron Ling says: “Those two hours on Grand Final day changes so many people’s lives.”

AFL Media producer Peter Dickson was granted unparalleled access behind the scenes during the Grand Final and he spent several months interviewing players and coaches involved. AFL Chief Operating Officer Gillon McLachlan thanked the two clubs, their players and coaches for their co-operation in documenting the story around the 2011 Toyota AFL Grand Final.

“The AFL, through the work of Pete Dickson, is wanting to tell key parts of the history of our game through the words of the people with central roles at the time,” Mr McLachlan said.“After documenting the 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001 Grand Finals last year, this documentary fills in the picture of what happened around and behind Geelong’s victory over Collingwood in last year’s Grand Final. I can only thank and congratulate the two clubs for their willingness to be involved and their candour around the biggest day on Australian sport,” he said.

Seven Melbourne Managing Director Lewis Martin said: “This documentary is a wonderful piece of storytelling. The emotional and gripping interviews make this compelling viewing.”
‘2Hours’ will premiere on Channel 7 on Saturday March 17 at 10.30pm in Melbourne, 10pm in Adelaide and 9.50pm in Perth after the 2012 NAB Cup Grand Final.