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Seven for seven? Network expresses interest in AFLX

Matt Thompson  August 17, 2017 11:30 AM

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PLANS for televising the top-flight debut of AFLX are gaining momentum, with Channel Seven indicating its early interest in the concept.

Work is underway to trial the 'big bash' style of the code – a fast-paced, seven-a-side format featuring AFL-listed players on a stand-alone weekend ahead of next year's JLT Community Series.

"It sounds like the sort of thing that could work, is what I'd say," Seven chief executive Tim Worner told Mediaweek

"We'd like to think with our relationship with the AFL there's going to be a conversation about it," he said.  

"If you want these things to work you've got to have the right free-to-air partner.

"We've proven we can build things with the AFL before.

"AFL (with) any letter on the end of it, is something that we'd be interested in talking to the AFL about."

Asked last week about the prospect of AFLX being televised AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan responded, "I hope so," before adding, "we haven't had those discussions."

McLachlan explained that early plans to trial the concept during the weekend between this year's home and away season and finals had been dropped.

"We want actually all teams to be involved, we want more time to make sure we have ownership of what the product looks like," he said. 

"To that we think then the best time is to lead into pre-season.

"The other part is that the clubs, the feedback from the coaches is they can manage the loads of the players, with the right planning it can an important part of the pre-season rather than wedging it in."

It's likely the JLT Series would be reduced to two matches per club to accommodate the AFLX weekend.

What is AFLX?

  • Played on a soccer-sized field
  • Played between two sides of seven, plus three on each interchange bench
  • Ten-minute quarters
  • No centre bounces (kick-ins from full-back after each goal)
  • One umpire