Some thoughts around premium content and AFL


I was thinking about the idea of premium content this evening whilst watching my 3 hours of footy panel shows and had a thought.

Is football (ie AFL, NRL and A-League) the obvious test case for user pays premium content?

NBA fans can already access a similar initiative through the NBA League Pass – http://www.nba.com/broadband/league_pass.jsp – this costs US based subscribers around $180 USD per season.

Could a group like the AFL look at something similar?

I’m not saying that this would replace broadcast and pay TV deals, but could it be added as another option to the user?

And could something like this be added to club membership packages? ie – for an extra $100 per season you get access to watch your teams games online (after broadcast) on demand in high quality plus selected archived games.

Most AFL clubs have around 35,000-45,000 members. If 25% of members took this up the revenue could be interesting.

I don’t personally think 25% of members is an audacious figure. These members are forking out $300+ per year plus more on reserved seats, merchandise and membership add ons. They are passionate fans and value their team and their association with it.

With 16 AFL clubs, 25% of members (basing on 16 clubs x 35,000 members) could generate around $14m in revenue per year (or about $875k per club)

Most clubs could do with $875k I would imagine. And this could be done without impacting on TV ratings or revenues as it would be available post broadcast.

To me the idea doesn’t seem that crazy and the code of AFL is probably one of the groups that has content that is compelling enough to do this.

In the scheme of the $780m broadcast deal this is peanuts, but longer term you’d argue that this sort of on demand approach has a lot more revenue and growth potential that the current afl.com.au site and approach.

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4 responses to “Some thoughts around premium content and AFL

  1. People will pay for those things that they can’t get for free – that they value highly…

    Being based here in Singapore we don’t get NRL games beyond one or two … and Telstra won’t stream any of the free content from Bigpond out of Australia. The only option – $7 a month to watch the Bunnies get beaten each week !

    I would happily pay $10 a month to access Hulu – but instead get this message: Sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed from within the United States.

    I’d also pay to access Pandora and some of the other really great global services that currently require a US IP address – or seriously nerdy skills to access from OS.

  2. It’s all a possibility with more bandwidth. And the reason, you’d imagine, why the next round of broadcast rights negotiations for the NRL and AFL will see a huge spike in the value of the internet package.

    Could see the net deal (currently held by Telstra in both codes) exceed the price of the terrestrial TV deal…??

  3. Hi Ben,
    our Company is a new entry inot the Australian market, haveing experienced huge success in south Africa. We specialise in mobile marketing and Mobi Sites.
    We have experinced massive success with sport content delivered and viewed by phone.
    In particularly Player23.mobi , which was created for the Rugby Super 14 season and subsequently rolled over to the Lions tour has been a winning combination, as it delivers snippets, exclusive content and club information. I suggest you review. We have found both the NRL and AFL in Australia somehat challenging to date, as it seems to be governed by Telstra, and the clubs are unwilling to consider alternative media viewing formats,due to Telstra’s dominance. Your views would be welcome.

  4. It’s a nice idea, but the AFL has long since abdicated any responsibility for its online presence by selling its entire Internet presence to Telstra, which is paying way over the odds to the league to ensure its broadband subscribers get better video content.

    To put it bluntly, the AFL doesn’t care at all about the Internet.

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