Seven AFL coverage (pre-2001)

I’ve always been curious as to how Seven would be able to cover a full round of AFL games when they had the rights prior to losing them after the 2001 season. My thinking is that they’d televise games involving local teams into their respective states, as is the case currently.

The song “Stand Tough” from Point Break was used during the 2000 season. This is an AFL match between Geelong and Richmond (credit: oztiger73) that has the C7 Sport watermark on the top right.

Also note Game Day was broadcast during half-time rather than the standalone program (hosted by Hamish McLachlan) that it is today. Current Sydney Swans coach John Longmire is one of the hosts.

To my knowledge:

  • Friday night games were delayed by one hour, with broadcast starting at 8:30pm, but I do know there was one match (between Essendon and Carlton in round 20, 2000) that was broadcast live into Melbourne.

Depend which era, changed a lot from when they regained the rights in 1988 until 2000. Friday’s were originally replayed at 9:30 (8:10 bounce), Saturday were one live game nationally excluding Victoria who got highlights at 6pm for 90mins of 2 or 3 matches. Saturday nights weren’t a regular thing until the mid-late 90s, Sundays would see a live coverage of interstate matches and replay of a Victorian match or another live match as a double header became.the regular occurrence, sometime a live triple header. The Game Day you speak of preceded this and followed on from Sportsworld.

Not all matches were televised, even back when ABC and Seven both had the rights in the 70s and 80s to the six matches, they’d often be at the same three.

When Optus came on the scene live matches were broadcast into Melbourne on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and Saturday nights and every match was televised, but still not all live.

Towards the end of that era, there were some late Saturday afternoon starts in Melbourne which were delayed by an hour.and shown into Melbourne.

Hope that helps, memory is getting harder though!


Also, when an match was played on Easter Monday, Anzac Day or Queen’s Birthday, it would be shown nationally except in Melbourne Metro where Seven would show a 90 minute highlights show from 4.30pm. However it was possible to watch the game live in some pubs in the metropolitan area as they had satellite dishes to receive broadcasts from Seven Central.


How many times did Seven do a live triple header?

The AFL tables website will give you an idea but beware of the match times, I’ve noticed many inaccuracies with them. Otherwise have a hunt around for old guides for Melbourne, that should help.

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How did Seven cover the 1996 AFL season when they also had the Atlanta Olympic games?

In other seasons from memory they used to cover 6 or 7 games a round in Perth.

Friday Night - Delayed telecast at 8.30
Saturday Afternoon - LIVE at 12noon
Saturday Afternoon - Highlights package/AFL winners leading into the news
Saturday Night - Delayed telecast - time was variable.
Sunday Afternoon - 12noon
Sunday Afternoon - 4.30pm/later 3pm - WA Home team delayed telecast from Subiaco - News at half time
Sunday Night - Late late game.

During the pre 2001 Seven era, the Eagles and Dockers only played home games on Friday Night, Saturday Night or Sunday afternoon, never Saturday afternoon.

Always baffled me when Nine got the rights in 2002, they reverted to the 4.30pm delayed telecast after Seven used to show it from 3pm on a Sunday. This lasted for 2002 and part of 2003 before switching to 3pm.

FNF was not always replayed at 9:30 (8:10 bounce) if the game was SA/WA based. What was Seven’s Friday lineup then, and was it adjusted for those matches at Football Park/WACA/Subiaco? And weren’t some SA games at 5:45 PM?

Did John Longmire cover any matches in the box that year, apart from hosting Gameday?

Well those were Melbourne matches. Live from Adelaide or Perth at 8:30, occasionally Sydney at 7:30. I think The Great Outdoors and Inspector Morse filled the 7:30/8:30 slot for a few years in the 90s.

I think I can recall him being in the commentary box for a game between Sydney and Collingwood in 2000 (note this is NOT the match where Tony Lockett claimed the goalkicking record, that was the previous year).

In 2001, The Game was broadcast on Friday nights in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth leading into Friday Night Football; this meant The Weakest Link was televised on the Thursday in those markets (in Sydney and Brisbane TWL was shown on Friday nights, in addition to Monday nights in all markets).

Once the AFL finished, TWL aired on Thursday nights in all markets.

That reminds me, of Four Quarters in '95 I think it was.

I was watching a clip the Swans-Magpies game from 2000, and Bruce McAvaney mentioned that some stations would leave afterwards for the Adelaide-West Coast match, since that match started at 10.10pm and the game in Sydney started at 7.40pm. Did Seven do Saturday Night double headers then too?

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I wonder when this incarnation of Talking Footy was axed. Must be 2004 judging by this post by @Zampakid on the Seven 2004-05 presentation.


One exception- Lions-Demons at the Gabba in 98 on Easter? That one would been live in Melbourne and Brisbane while everyone else got Carlton-Essendon.

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Sometimes Victoria got a game from Manuka Oval at 1.30pm and then the highlights at 6pm for 90mins of 2 or 3 matches. Sundays, usually it was live coverage of interstate matches and replay of a Victorian match or live match from Football Park or Subiaco. For holiday matches, Seven would show a 90 minute highlights show, or live if sold out. FNF was usually 9:30, or 8:30 if from from Football Park or Subiaco.

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There was only one game at Manuka prior to 2001 so that sounds unlikely