USAFL hopeful that TV deal is still on track

Wednesday, June 15 2005 @ 12:59 am ACST

Contributed by: Brett Northey

One of the big stories of international Aussie Rules in 2004 was the news that the USAFL had signed a three year broadcast deal with new company All Sports Television Network. The agreement involved ASTN recording and broadcasting selected US Footy matches on free to air television in the United States. There had been an expectation that the All-Star East versus West games in Dallas in May would have been telecast by now, and the delay is causing considerable disquiet in the US Australian football community. World Footy News discussed the current situation with the USAFL's Scott Hunt.

Scott pointed out that as these were the first matches recorded there were initial problems with editing all the footage together to the desired standards. This was continuing as a joint effort between USAFL staff and ASTN. The matches were filmed using digital cameras, including some footage in HDTV. "So, we're very excited about the quality. However, due to some internal issues with the network, we're still working to complete post-production of the games - adding in the graphics package, linking in the commentary soundtrack, etc. As with any first-time endeavor, we've been working through some issues, and hopefully, things will go much smoother the next time around."

On the question of when the matches will air and what games will be recorded next, Scott replied:

"We're still working with ASTN on the timelines for the broadcast. It will, of course, depend on when we can complete post-production. I would like to think that it will be within the next couple of months, but that hasn't been confirmed. The next event to be filmed will likely be the games at Nashville's Australian Festival in September."

Obviously the delay has been frustrating for players and supporters of footy in the US, but on the broader timescale, this is only a minor delay. The key will be seeing ASTN successfully arranging broadcast arrangements with local stations. Let's all hope it turns out well in the months ahead.

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