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First AFLW Grand Final to be held during round one

The inaugural AFLW Grand Final will be held on the Saturday afternoon of round one - ${keywords}
The inaugural AFLW Grand Final will be held on the Saturday afternoon of round one

THE INAUGURAL AFL Women's Grand Final will be held during round one of the AFL season, with the League and broadcasters clearing a Saturday afternoon timeslot as part of the fixture to be released on Friday.  

The League has finalised its broadcast deal for the new competition's debut season, with all 28 home and away games to be broadcast live on Foxtel, the official AFL app and AFL.com.au.

Select games will also be broadcast on Seven, with the free-to-air broadcaster winning rights to the Grand Final, which will be held on Saturday, March 25 at a venue still to be determined.

AFL game development general manager Simon Lethlean said the League was thrilled to secure a strong broadcast deal and a Saturday slot for the inaugural AFL Women's decider. 

"We decided if we clear out Saturday afternoon, the traditional Grand Final time, and combine that with the excitement round one generates, then that would represent the AFLW competition appropriately," Lethlean told AFL.com.au.

"It's a good result and those broadcasters have production standards they don't compromise on.

"There'll be all the camera angles, commentators, high-definition, and it'll look great."

The AFL has not secured rights fees from Fox Footy or Channel Seven, but both broadcasters will underwrite the production costs for the inaugural season.

Lethlean said September's highly successful exhibition match between the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne at Whitten Oval had played a key role in building interest among broadcasters.

"There's no doubt that helped to get this to where it is," he said.  

"It displayed the athletes, their personalities and skills and it was very watchable.

"I think that made everyone sit up and realise there is something here."

Lethlean said the personalities of stars such as Collingwood's Moana Hope had also played a major role in building excitement around the competition.   

"(The players) are fresh, excited, grateful for the opportunities that are coming, and more importantly, they've worked hard to get where they are and deserve the opportunity," Lethlean said.  

"I reckon the goodwill in the industry permeates because of that and they'll benefit from it."