The Seven Network is promising a radical change to live sports coverage and streaming in 2024 when its full AFL and cricket digital rights kick-in.
Australia’s No.1 winter and summer sports – in AFL and cricket – will be added to the free streaming service in 7plus, and the network believes it will change the way Australians “watch and engage with sport … forever”.
The full AFL digital rights begin with the 2024 Brownlow Medal and grand final, followed by the AFLW (which is already running on 7plus).
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Then, in October 2024, Seven’s full digital rights to the cricket start with Test matches, Women’s Internationals, BBL and WBBL all running on 7plus for the first time.
After that, all of Channel 7’s AFL games for the 2025 home and away season and finals will also be live and on-demand in 7plus for the very first time.
Seven West Media chief executive James Warburton said the addition of AFL and cricket to 7plus will be the “biggest game-changer in the history of Australian streaming”.
“Together, they will represent 4 billion new minutes of viewing on 7plus a year,” Warburton said.
“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 is Australia’s most watched sport video content company, reaching more than 18 million people so far this year.
Legendary caller Bruce McAvaney will again lead the horse racing coverage on Seven. Credit: Seven
Its content offering is nothing short of staggering, with 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 featuring on the network all year long.
Seven’s head of sport and Melbourne managing director, Lewis Martin, said the network was passionate about sport and “champions” of the games, the codes, the athletes and 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,” Martin said.
“Nobody does sport better than Seven. That’s why we’re No.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.”
Seven is the place to be to watch the cricket in 2024. Credit: Seven
There will be another shake-up to sports streaming next year, as well, when a community sports live-streaming platform – called streamer.com.au – is rolled out nationally.
The live-streaming platform was established by The West Australian and is home to sports such as amateur karate, state tennis and grassroots footy.
Streamer.com.au is also interactive and allows leagues and clubs to create player profiles, conduct fundraisers or share highlights on social media.
Viewership on the platform has grown by more than 200 per cent in the past eight months alone, and more than 220 clubs are onboard already.
With the backing BHP, it is going national West Australian Newspapers editor-in-chief Anthony De Ceglie said the plan was to make Streamer “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. 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,” he said.
The mind-boggling numbers in AFL’s epic conclusion
The 2023 AFL season finished on September 30, 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 per cent on the 2022 grand final) and 2.47 million in the capital cities.
Don’t miss our AFL coverage in 2024, with leading callers James Brayshaw, Daisy Pearce, and Brian Taylor. Credit: Seven
An additional 441,000 viewers watched it 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 No.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.
Martin said: “That’s just the start of a sensational summer of cricket on Seven. 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 October 6-8 – 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.
Mark Beretta and Mel McLaughlin will again bring you all the best Supercars action in 2024. Credit: Seven
Seven has long been the undisputed leader in thoroughbred racing broadcasting and that proud tradition will continue in 2024.
So far this year, Seven’s 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.
An enormous 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.
Armchair Experts will back in 2024. Credit: Seven
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