The AFL is back solely on Channel 7 this year and they’re rightly making a big noise about it. Not only will the East Coast states have a guaranteed 4 games of football across each weekend, but in 2012, for the first time, AFL will be beamed each week into the northern markets of Queensland and NSW on the digital multichannel 7mate regularly.
From the first press release:
Under the new arrangements, viewers in Queensland and NSW will get four games in every round live on 7mate. And most importantly fans will be able to watch their local team in action too.
So in NSW, all matches involving the Sydney Swans and Greater Western Sydney Giants will be broadcast on 7mate. And similarly in Queensland, games with the Brisbane Lions or the Gold Coast Suns will be shown. With TV viewers now flocking to the multi-channels as never before, it is another giant leap forward for free-to-air television.
There is good news, too, in other states. South Australian fans will see a minimum of four matches per week live or near live on Channel Seven, including all 42 matches involving the Adelaide Crows or
Port Power. West Australian fans will see a minimum of four matches per week live or near live on Channel Seven, including all 42 matches involving West Coast or Fremantle. And in Victoria and Tasmania, there will be live football on Channel Seven across the weekend on Friday nights, Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. All finals will also be broadcast live on Seven and/or 7mate around Australia. We’ll have the Brownlow medal too. And of course the AFL Grand Final will be exclusively live on Channel Seven.
To boot, they’re rolling out the big guns when it comes to commentary too. From the second press release:
CHANNEL Seven today unveiled its AFL commentary line-up for the 2012 premiership season.
As the sole free-to-air TV broadcaster, Seven will show the four best games every weekend during the home-and-away season – on Friday nights, Saturday afternoons, Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.
On Friday Nights, which begin at 7.30pm in Melbourne, the iconic commentary team of BRUCE MCAVANEY, DENNIS COMETTI, LEIGH MATTHEWS, TIM WATSON, TOM HARLEY and MATTHEW RICHARDSON will return once again.
Kicking off at 6.30pm, the new Saturday Night coverage will feature the irrepressible BRIAN ‘BT’ TAYLOR, Bulldogs champion LUKE DARCY, Geelong premiership skipper CAMERON LING and RICHO.
On Saturday afternoons, beginning at 3pm, AFL Game Day host HAMISH MCLACHLAN and 7 Perth sports presenter BASIL ZEMPILAS will call the action, with the coaching legend MICK MALTHOUSE and TOM HARLEY providing expert comments and former Swans captain BRETT KIRK the field commentary.
Then on Sundays from 3pm BRUCE, DENNIS and TIM return, joined by either CAMERON LING or BRETT KIRK who will share field commentary duties for the season.
Collectively they represent the most decorated, revered and popular figures in AFL football today. Seven’s team has won 21 premierships, 17 best-and-fairest awards and played or coached in 3315 games.
The Managing Director of Seven Melbourne, Lewis Martin, said: “Like every footy fan we couldn’t be more excited about the season ahead. It was in May last year that we first drew up a list of our dream commentary team. Well, we’ve drafted exactly that dream team, and now they’ve lined up in their positions. We can’t wait for the opening bounce.”
Friday Night Football
Saturday Arvo Football
Saturday Night Football
Depending on the game, the roster of commentators may be subject to change.