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NZ coverage reaches new heights

AFL General Manager Broadcasting, Scheduling and Legal Affairs Simon Lethlean addresses the media during the announcemnt of the fixture for the 2013 Toyota AFL Premiership Season at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Simon Lethlean, AFL General Manager - Broadcasting, Scheduling & Legal Affairs
The AFL today announced the finalisation of international broadcast rights into New Zealand for the 2013 Toyota AFL Premiership Season that will see unprecedented television coverage of the code across the Tasman Sea.  

Sommet Sports and SKY Television will showcase AFL content throughout the year with increased coverage across the Premiership Season, Finals Series, Grand Final and weekly highlights program.  Both networks will broadcast the Anzac Day match, St Kilda v Sydney Swans at Westpac Stadium, live nationally from 7.30pm local time – in what will be a significant event for the code.

The AFL wishes to thank the ongoing support of incumbent rights holder SKY and also welcome Sommet Sports as a new AFL broadcast partner for season 2013.

In a great result for AFL fans, Sommet Sports will broadcast every match on freeview Channel 14 commencing 18 April, 2013.  Each week, six matches will be aired live with three matches on delay (with the exception of some anomaly and split rounds), while SKY NZ are to broadcast one delayed match each week.

The announcement follows the St Kilda Football Club’s community camp in Wellington, the AIS-AFL Academy’s New Zealand tour which included a match against the New Zealand Hawks at Westpac Stadium and Hawthorn’s International Scholarship signings of New Zealand players Shem Tatupu and Kurt Heatherley.

AFL General Manager - Broadcasting, Scheduling & Legal Affairs Simon Lethlean said the expanded coverage is a terrific outcome for AFL fans in New Zealand.

“For the first time every match from Round 4 onwards will be broadcast into New Zealand.  We are pleased to have the support of Sommet Sports and Sky NZ in a season where we will play the first ever AFL premiership season match outside of Australia at Westpac Stadium, Wellington on Anzac Day.”

“This also reflects the growing popularity of AFL in New Zealand as more people get involved in AFLNZ’s community participation programs lead by KiwiKick,” he said.

Sommet Sports commences coverage throughout New Zealand on Thursday April 18, one week prior to the Anzac Day Wellington match.  Tickets can be purchased for the Anzac Day Wellington match at www.ticketek.co.nz.

Andrew Reeves from Sommet Sports said the new network was thrilled to include AFL in its new lineup.

“We are delighted to be able to broadcast the AFL into New Zealand.  Kiwi’s will now be able to watch the games for free live every week and will find out what a great game it is!”

Sommet Sports coverage will include:
·         All nine matches every week of the Premiership Season:  six LIVE, three on delay (Round 4 onwards)
·         Collingwood v Essendon and St Kilda v Sydney Swans Anzac Day Matches LIVE
·         All Finals Series Matches LIVE (Weeks 1-3)
·         Grand Final LIVE
·         23 Episodes of the 2013 Toyota AFL International Highlights Show to be aired every week of the Premiership Season and Finals Series (post Round 4 onwards)

Richard Last, SKY’s Director of Sport said SKY was looking forward to another season of AFL.

SKY coverage will include:
·         One delayed match each week of the Premiership Season
·         Collingwood v Essendon and St Kilda v Sydney Swans Anzac Day Matches LIVE
·         One delayed match each week of the Finals Series (Weeks 1-3)
·         Grand Final LIVE
·         28 Episodes of the 2013 Toyota AFL International Highlights Show to be aired every week of the Premiership Season and Finals Series


For the first time ever, New Zealand fans with Android or iOS smart phones will also be able to watch every match of the 2013 Toyota AFL Premiership Season and Finals series (including the Grand Final) on the go with the AFL Live Official App by Telstra, available for download from iTunes App Store or Google Play now. Regardless of telephone provider, monthly and annual subscription packages are available to anyone, anywhere in New Zealand via data connectivity or WiFi. Content offering will include live games, full match replays, press conferences, feature videos, news and tipping.

Beginning Round 1, AFL TV International, the AFL’s new international subscription service will also be offering New Zealand fans unprecedented viewing access. Every single 2013 Toyota AFL premiership season match will be available live and on–demand across multiple devices - desktop, phone and tablet - with a range of new purchasing options designed to accommodate the differing needs of New Zealand AFL fans. For the first time international fans have the choice of a range of purchasing options, including a full Season Pass, a Weekly Pass, a Monthly Recurring Pass, Finals packages and a Grand Final pass. As an added bonus, full Season Pass subscribers will also be able to watch the AFL Brownlow Medal Count, the Four ‘N Twenty All Australian Awards and the AFL Hall of Fame events live. AFL TV International can be accessed at: http://afltv.afl.com.au/