AFL matches broadcast nationally on US TV in 2006 by MHz Networks
Monday, March 20 2006 @ 10:30 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
In a major announcement for footy viewers in the US today, independent public broadcaster MHz NETWORKS has announced it will broadcast the Australian Football League (AFL) "Match of the Week," and an hour-long highlights show, on its new national program service MHz WORLDVIEW for the full AFL season. Matches will air on Saturday nights at 8PM EST with replay Sundays at noon EST.
It is not quite understood at present how easy it will be for the average American to access this service but it is hoped that there is some sort of resurgence in the viewership of the game to the heights it reached when ESPN first broadcast the game. It’s location of Fox Sports World which last year became the Fox Soccer Channel, and the screening times did little to encourage viewers. This new scheduling will be much more viewer friendly. The following is taken from the MHz NETWORKS press release.
WORLDVIEW, as a non-commercial program stream offered through U.S. public TV stations, will provide the first U.S. national broadcast platform for the sport. "The AFL is thrilled to be able to extend our reach in the United States via MHz WORLDVIEW to give Americans further opportunity to enjoy our unique game," says Ben Amarfio, Manager, AFL Broadcasting, Publishing and New Media. "MHz has been a strong supporter of the AFL over a number of years." MHz has aired the AFL matches on its Washington, D.C. stations since 1998.
WORLDVIEW programmers think the AFL will catch-on with U.S. audiences as well, where there is a surprisingly strong fan base. "It's an international sport that has a strong foothold in the U.S.," says Frederick Thomas, EVP/GM of MHz. "Those two qualities make it a great sport for our WORLDVIEW program service."
MHz NETWORKS, which operates in Northern Virginia and serves the Washington, D.C. market through WNVC and WNVT, is owned by Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation (CPBC), headquartered in Richmond, VA. Visit http://www.mhzworldview.org for more information.