African coverage of AFL
Thursday, June 04 2009 @ 12:30 pm ACST
Contributed by: Brett Northey
A common complaint by people trying to promote Australian football around the world is that it's often difficult to show people the game regularly as it isn't on television very much. Happily Africa is getting some coverage in 2009, with 1 game per week and possibly a one hour package. Unfortunately it is almost certainly subscription based, however talk of producing local content relating to AFL South Africa is encouraging. The regions that should have access are:
Sub-Saharan Africa, that is, the continent of Africa – including Cape Verde, the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, St. Helena, São Tomé & Príncipe, and the Seychelles – other than Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Western Sahara. And Israel.
The Salamander Company, looking after commercial activities for AFL South Africa, recently announced that:
The Salamander Company is pleased to announce that global sports broadcaster ESPN will broadcast one AFL match per week into Africa through the DSTV network.
The Salamander company will work with ESPN to look at ways to enhance the broadcast of AFL matches in the region including the production of local television content focusing on the growth and development of footyWILD in South Africa.
AFL South Africa's Mtutu Hlomela explained to us the advantage of having full replays, "Its great that ESPN is broadcasting full length AFL games here in South Africa, highlights packages are great but they only show the goals being scored. Full length games will give locals the opportunity to learn how the game is played at the highest level, in terms of how the ball is moved and how the teams transition from defense to attack and vice versa. What is also great about this is that South Africans will develop knowledge about the 16 different clubs and especially the four investing into South Africa and also be able to watch their favourite players on their screens every weekend."
Thea Salter, from the AFL's Broadcasting Operations & Projects department, issued WFN with this information:
ESPN has acquired the rights to air Australian Rules Football in South Africa. ESPN will air a match every Saturday at 1pm (CAT) right through to the three rounds of playoffs culminating in the Grand Final in September.
AFL’s Patrick Keane said Australian Football was growing in South Africa. “South Africa’s ‘FootyWILD’ program launched two years ago and has experienced rapid growth in participation rates across all ages. ‘FootyWILD’ is an adapted version of NAB AFL Auskick, now with over 17,000 participants across South Africa. We look forward to seeing South African players in AFL ranks in the future,” said Keane.
Catch all the Aussie Rules action only on ESPN, on DStv chanel 230.
ESPN’s coverage continues through to last round at the end of August with three rounds of playoffs and the Grand Final in September.