Seven Upfront - AFL and cricket coming to 7plus in 2024

By AdNews | 18 October 2023
Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer. Credit: The West Australian Newspaper.

Seven Network is bringing Australia’s #1 winter and #1 summer sport – the AFL and cricket – to 7plus.

The network's full digital rights to the AFL kick in with the Brownlow Medal and the AFL Grand Final in 2024, followed by the AFLW (which is already running on 7plus) then the full 2025 season.

Seven’s digital rights to cricket start in October 2024, with Test matches, Women’s Internationals, BBL and WBBL running on 7plus for the first time.

“The addition of AFL and cricket to 7plus will be biggest game changer in the history of Australian streaming. Together, they will represent four billion new minutes of viewing on 7plus a year," says Seven West Media CEO James Warburton.

“That is the equivalent in minutes of the Tokyo Olympics and FIFA Women’s World Cup™ combined – not 17 days or five weeks but 52 weeks of the year, every year. It’s a whole new ball game, for Seven, for sport fans and for our commercial partners.”

Seven says the new digital rights to the AFL and cricket are the icing on the cake for sport fans and for Seven, which is Australia’s most watched sport video content company, reaching more than 18 million people so far this year.

The AFL, AFLW, Test cricket, BBL, WBBL, Supercars, the NFL Super Bowl, The Everest, the Golden Slipper, the Golden Eagle, the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate, The Big Dance, the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, surfing, netball, golf, hockey – all on Seven.

Lewis Martin, managing director Seven Melbourne and head of network sport, Lewis Martin, says Seven is passionate about sport.

"We are champions of it – the games, the codes, the athletes, the fans. We know firsthand how sport brings an entire nation together, as we all saw with the extraordinary performance of the Matildas in the FIFA Women’s World Cup this year," says Martin.

“Nobody does sport better than Seven. That’s why we’re #1. And it’s not just about one-off events; it is Australia’s best sport, 52 weeks a year, on every screen, meaning Seven reaches more racing hearts of Australian sport fans than anyone else.

“We also believe in democratising sport, ensuring it is live and free for everyone. Next year will be a massive one for the fans, when the AFL and cricket arrive live and free on a streaming platform for the first time. Millions of Australians will be able to see their favourite sports on 7plus for free, for the first time. It is going to be huge and will change the way Australians watch sport forever. 

“And, of course, Seven is still the only place to offer the most powerful marketing weapon in the country: the 30 seconds after a goal in AFL and after a wicket in the cricket.”

Next year will also bring the national rollout of, Australia’s sport live-streaming platform.

Streamer, established by The West Australian, is the home of community sport and showcases everything from amateur karate to State tennis and grassroots footy.

Unlike other platforms, Streamer lets leagues, clubs and players create profiles and do everything from fundraising to sharing their highlight clips from games on social media. Importantly, it also allows sporting organisations to control and house their own content on the site.

In the past eight months alone, viewership has risen by more than 200% and Streamer has onboarded more than 220 clubs. Now it is going national, with BHP as its foundation partner.

West Australian Newspapers editor-in-chief Anthony De Ceglie says the aim is for Streamer to be the most popular one-stop shop for live streaming community sport and events in Australia.

"Streamer has been built to accommodate streaming programs from clubs and leagues at any price point," he says.

"It’s a true social media disrupter that is technologically far superior to any other sites live-streaming grassroots sports and, importantly, it hands over power to sporting organisations and players.

"This means they can do everything from clipping highlights to creating player profiles or even fundraising via Streamer.”

The 2023 AFL season wrapped on September 20, when Collingwood defeated the Brisbane Lions in a thrilling AFL Grand Final that reached 4.98 million Australians.

The epic Grand Final became the most watched TV program in 2023 outside of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, scoring an average total television audience of 3.75 million viewers, including 3.3 million viewers nationally (up 22% on the 2022 Grand Final) and 2.47 million in the capital cities. An additional 441,000 viewers watched live on 7plus – the biggest ever audience for an AFL match on a streaming platform.

The AFL and the AFLW return to Seven in 2024 – and for the following seven years – along with the Brownlow Medal (exclusive to Seven) and the best and most-awarded football commentary team in Australia.

Sam Pang, Mick Molloy and Andy Maher will be back at the bar hosting Australia’s #1 footy show, the award-winning The Front Bar, and serving up another season of insights, interviews and laughs. The Front Bar team will also return in November this year for a cricket special ahead of the Summer of Cricket.

The greatest summer ever of live and free cricket on Seven rolled out on October 1, when the Australian women’s cricket team took on the West Indies in the first of six blockbuster white-ball matches.

“That’s just the start of a sensational summer of cricket on Seven," says Martin.

"With reinvigorated, shortened and power-packed BBL and WBBL seasons featuring the biggest names in the game, coupled with the history and reverence of the men’s and women’s summer Test series, it’s going to be the greatest ever season on Your Home of Cricket.”

Following the drama and excitement of the Repco Bathurst 1000 on 6-8 October – which reached 5.13 million people – the Supercars Championship will roar back onto Seven in 2024.

With six Supercars Championship rounds across the screens of Seven next year, motorsport fans will be treated to the biggest and best dates on the motorsport calendar.

So far this year, Seven’s horse racing coverage has reached 7.9 million Australians across broadcast and BVOD, and has increased year-on-year.

The Spring Racing calendar is the pinnacle of the 7Racing portfolio, which covers the very best Australian thoroughbred racing live and free every Saturday of the year as part of the most significant free-to-air broadcast deal in the history of the sport.

The long-term agreement with Racing Victoria and Racing NSW, which includes key race days in conjunction with Racing Queensland and Racing SA, cements Seven as Australia’s Home of Racing, and means Australians enjoy 52 weeks of elite racing across the country.

The agreement includes Magic Millions, The Big Dance, The Everest, the Golden Slipper, the Golden Eagle, the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate, the Championships, the All Star Mile, the Queensland Oaks, the Queensland Derby, the South Australian Derby and the South Australian Oaks and Goodwood Handicap.

The year of sport on Seven also features the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race from Boxing Day, the Santos Tour Down Under, the rest of the 2023-24 NFL season – including the Super Bowl LVIII on 12 February 2024 – NFL Armchair Experts, AFL Armchair Experts and The Sunday Session.

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