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Thursday, April 24 2014 @ 03:14 AM CST

Live footy telecasts for New Zealand

Oceania

Live Australian football will be telecast across New Zealand from this week after the New Zealand AFL and its corporate partners successfully lobbied for the sport's inclusion in cable television programming.

The first match to be screened on SKY Sport 3 will be Friday's 'Rivalry Round' match between the Melbourne Demons and the Geelong Cats at the MCG. All Friday Night Football matches will be screened this season live into New Zealand in the 9:30pm (New Zealand Standard Time) timeslot, and will be replayed on Saturday afternoons at 2:30pm (NZST) on SKY Sport 2.

In addition to televising Friday Night Football, SKY Sports will continue to screen a one-hour AFL hightlights show on Tuesday and Thursday evenings on SKY Sports 2.

Securing live football telecasts into New Zealand is a huge achievement by the New Zealand AFL and their corporate partners. It will make professional Australian football more accessible to thousands of households nationwide and opens the door to the sport being screened in pubs. The 'live' element to the telecasts should also increase its attractiveness, as viewers will enjoy the added enjoyment of watching games in real time. The late starting time of live matches will be offset by repeat screenings on Saturday afternoon that will allow families and young children to enjoy the sport.

“This is a very positive step in the continued growth and awareness of Australian Rules in New Zealand, as our priority has always been to provide regular AFL games on New Zealand television to value-add and underpin our Aussie Rules delivery programs in the school system and community competitions throughout NZ” said NZAFL CEO Rob Malone.

“I would like to extend the NZAFL’s appreciation to Murray Jackson (CEO, Genesis Energy) for his support of this significant initiative. AFL will now be shown on average, 8 hours per week with the Friday night “live” game allocated a timeslot not always afforded to the Sydney market”.

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