ESPN has made the announced of a new deal with the Australian Football League (AFL) to bring viewers live television coverage of the AFL Premiership in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada and sub-saharan Africa. Additionally, it has secured co-exclusive live television rights in the Caribbean and Israel.
The deal will run for the next three seasons, including the current season. ESPN will bring viewers in these territories coverage of the league. At least one live match per week will be aired on ESPN channels throughout the season across all these territories.
The 23-round regular season is played between March and August, followed by the finals series, where the top teams play off for the right to make the final. The live TV telecast of the final be exclusive to ESPN channels. In addition, fans will be able to keep up to date with all the action during each round with a weekly TV highlights show.
Jeroen Oerlemans, vice president TV Channels, ESPN, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said, "We're delighted to continue our collaboration with the AFL and bring the thrilling sport of Aussie Rules to millions. Broadcasting Australian Rules Football demonstrates the range and depth of content we strive to offer ESPN viewers and is a great addition to our live sport line-up in each of these territories."
Gillon McLachlan, AFL chief operating officer, stated, "The AFL is delighted to announce a new three-year agreement with ESPN. The AFL and ESPN have built a wonderful partnership over the last three years and we are thrilled to have our code broadcast on such an esteemed network throughout many territories worldwide. I wish to thank ESPN for their ongoing commitment to AFL internationally."