The AFL has today announced that Foxtel and Telstra have joined the Seven Network in extending their broadcast, technical and sponsorship deals with the sport through the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

With Seven, Foxtel and Telstra, the AFL has a $946 million income over the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

While Foxtel’s deal may look similar to years gone by, the growth of Kayo as a sports only subscription service for Foxtel means that deals like this are critical to Foxtel, and provide stability for the AFL.

For Telstra, the partnership pushes to new levels, with a tightly integrated technology roll out to take place at the AFL’s Marvel Stadium in Melbourne which will see upgrades of the Fixed-Line broadband and both 4G and 5G mobile networks in the stadium, to make what the AFL describes as one of the most technically advanced sports and entertainment venues in the world.

Telstra will also continue to power the Technology and Innovation platforms behind the AFL website and club websites as well as the AFL’s digital assets such as the AFL Live app.

Given Kayo Sports recent announcement that some content will sit in front of the paywall from 2021 to entice new users, EFTM asked Foxtel CEO if any of the AFL content would be part of that free content offering, and the answer was “no, it’s all behind the paywall”.

Telstra’s upgrade to Marvel Stadium will include improvements to catering facilities (we assume that means mobile and online ordering), seat booking, as well as allowing for digital experiences such as Virtual Reality.

The announcement took a solid Covid format, rather than a staged press conference at a single venue, a Video Conference was used to make the announcement, with all the usual “you’re on mute” scenarios covered during the briefing – so, bring on 2021 folks:)