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Foxtel elects to retain entire AFL rights package

Australian pay-television operator Foxtel has elected not to sublicense any of its AFL Aussie rules football league games for the 2017 season to a free-to-air broadcaster, according to the league’s official website.

AFL.com.au said Foxtel has decided to broadcast all Premiership regular-season games on its Fox Footy channel.

In August 2015, Foxtel, commercial broadcaster Seven and telecommunications company Telstra signed a six-season rights deal with the AFL, from 2017 to 2022, worth Aus$2.508bn (€1.75bn/$1.9bn).

Foxtel was given the option to sell on a 23-game package, featuring Saturday afternoon matches, to a free-to-air network. Commercial broadcaster Ten had been sounded out as potential platform, having broadcast coverage of the AFL between 2002 and 2011.

However, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan in October warned that free-to-air coverage of the league was likely to drop in 2017 after stating Ten was unlikely to pick up the package.