The partnership between the AFL and AFL Indigenous Broadcasting is in danger of collapsing due to a lack of funding.
For more than 20 years the national distribution service has been running via the National Indigenous Radio Service, and only last year announced a landmark 6-year deal to provide a weekly AFL service to all Indigenous and Community licensed radio stations across the nation.
This year they covered Grand Final Day with the first ever fully indigenous broadcast, but unless funding comes quickly, they may not make it to round one in 2019.
Broadcast rights holder for AFL Indigenous Broadcasting, Andrew Underwood, told radioinfo that depsite a number of approaches he has made to them, he is yet to hear from the AFL.
Andrew says “What we do, others can’t do, and that’s reach indigenous communities and non traditional AFL listeners. It’s a unique product that is offering genuine employment and training opportunities to indigenous hopefuls and I would like to see the commercials stations embrace the talent pool we have”
“It’s interesting that around the time of the Indigenous Round we see a lot of Indigenous guest appearences on commercial radio and TV, but where are they for the other 30 weeks of the season. Meanwhile we are developing real talent and it’s my hope that what we offer opens doors for them.”
Andrew says that talks with Crocmedia about a partnership to broadcast games was unworkable because broadcasting a commercial product on a community station would put the station in breach of regulations.