Giants wants share of Friday night pieFollow the Age Sport on Twitter
Sydney chairman Andrew Pridham believes there is “no reason” why two games played simultaneously on Friday nights cannot be a regular feature of the next AFL broadcasting deal.
While Friday night double-headers were played occasionally between 1996 and 2001, they have not been a part of any of the three most recent television rights agreements. But, with networks jockeying for positions in the next rights period – to begin in 2017 – Pridham argues Friday night games will be a financial boon for the league, and suggests games can be played on different free-to-air channels.
“I think that would be a positive for ratings overall,” Pridham said.
He doesn’t think two games will cause the audience to be divided between competing networks.
“I don’t think it would diminish it,” he said. “There’d be more casual viewership. And just think how powerful would it be for the AFL if, every Friday night, you had free-to-air game on Seven, and one on Nine or Ten?”
The AFL considered scheduling a Friday night double-header over the round six Mother’s Day weekend this year, but shelved the idea after it was deemed too complicated. Channel Nine has shown an NRL Friday night double-header in the northern states since 2007.
The Swans play three Friday night games this year, all of which are home matches at the SCG. They faced Carlton in round nine, meet Richmond on Friday and play Collingwood in round 20. The Swans also have a home game on Thursday night with Port Adelaide in round 14, one of four consecutive mid-season Thursday night AFL games.
Pridham warns against the league bringing in more Thursday night games, contending they are good in moderation.
“They’re better than Monday nights and they’re certainly better than Sunday twilights,” he said.
“[They] are OK, but you wouldn’t want to have too many of them. You want to try not to have too many six-day breaks over the course of the season because that is a real problem.”
He also cautiously backs a proposal raised earlier this month by Greater Western Sydney chief executive Dave Matthews for a Sydney derby to be played on a Friday night. The Giants are yet to play a Friday night game in their four-year history but, having rapidly improved this year, are pushing to make their debut in the slot next season, preferably against Sydney or Collingwood.
Pridham says Friday night matches at Olympic Park at the Giants’ Spotless Stadium are difficult to access for many Swans fans due to the “horrific” traffic in Sydney during peak hour on Friday. The Age SportThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.