FOXTELâ€™s current AFL broadcast rights cease at the end of this year.
FOXTEL is in negotiations to secure subscription television rights to the AFL for next season and beyond, but the AFL television rights for the next five-year period from 2007 are controlled by the Seven and Ten Networks.
FOXTEL has made 2 offers to Seven and Ten since negotiations commenced in February this year for subscription TV rights, yet there is still no agreement.
The positions taken by Seven and Ten and the delays and uncertainty over the future have left FOXTEL with no option but to close its dedicated AFL FOX Footy Channel at the end of this season.
If FOXTEL can secure future subscription TV rights to the AFL, the coverage will become a core part of the new FOX Sports 3 channel to be launched on October 1 this year which can be accessed all FOXTEL Digital subscribers.
As reported in May this year on this blog, this is not a big suprise. I personally think having one channel dedicated to one sport is a bit of a waste. As said in the press release if they do get the rights next year as expected AFL will air on the newly created FOX Sports 3.
The one sad thing about this is the loss of jobs at the channel. Unless they get carried over to the new FOX Sports 3 or the new FOX Sports News Channel, they will lose their jobs at the end of September.