AFL playing hardball with broadcast rights after introduction of SEN

The AFL is using the introduction of new Melbourne sports station SEN to pressure existing radio rights holders to broadcast more games this year. The AFL has hinted that if they don’t, SEN might be given some broadcast rights.

3AW general manager Shane Healy told The Age newspaper’s Caroline Wilson his station will call three of the four second-round Wizard Cup games over the coming weekend following a conversation with AFL broadcast rights representative Ben Buckley last week.

Healy said the AFL “reminded us that a game in Melbourne not covered on radio gives them the right to offer it to another station. It helped us make the decision.”

Buckley said: “We’ve always wanted more coverage of our games and ideally we want a situation where all Victorian clubs are covered on Melbourne radio… SEN would definitely like to cover football but under the current contract we don’t see a way around that, certainly not at present.”

The AFL is expected to reframe its next radio broadcast rights agreement to include SEN, which increased its share significantly in the most recent ratings results, but is no where near being a threat to other stations at this stage.

And in other happenings at SEN, the station is rumoured to be talking to 2GB about getting the Melbourne broadcast rights to air coverage of the Athens Olympics later this year. There is no official comment on the success of the talks at this time.