Friday Night Footy
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|Friday Night Footy|
|Also known as||Friday Night Football (1985-2013)|
|Presented by||Bruce McAvaney (anchor)|
|Starring||Dennis Cometti (commentator)
Tom Harley (special comments)
Leigh Matthews (special comments)
Tim Watson (field commentator)
Matthew Richardson (field commentator)
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||30|
|Running time||180 minutes|
|Original channel||Seven Network (1985-2001, 2007-present)
Nine Network (2002-2006)
Network Ten (2002-2006, finals only)
Fox Sports Plus (2007-2011)
Fox Footy (Simulcast)
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)
|Original run||29 March 1985 – present|
Friday Night Footy formerly (Friday Night Football) is an Australian sports broadcast series is currently airing on the Seven Network on 29 March 1985 in VIC & SA and on 7mate in March 2012 in NSW, QLD, NT & WA.
Friday Night Football is generally considered to be the biggest stage and generates the most publicity for the clubs involved in both codes.
Both codes are shown in all states and territories, however the timing and scheduling depends on which code is more dominant in its respective state. The dominant codes are Australian rules football in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania; and rugby league in New South Wales, Queensland and Australian Capital Territory.
Non-weekend night matches of Australian rules football first emerged in the late 1970s/early 1980s with the Night series, a knock-out tournament featuring teams from across the country and run in parallel with the league seasons.
The first Victorian Football League matches on Friday nights were introduced in 1985 when the North Melbourne Football Club pioneered the world first initiative. At this time, these games were irregularly scheduled, and all matches featured North Melbourne, but by 1987, Friday Night Football was played on a more regular basis, and other clubs began to host the games.
Friday Night AFL is generally played in Melbourne, at either the Melbourne Cricket Ground or Docklands Stadium, but Sydney, Adelaide and Perth will generally host a few matches each year. It is less common for the games to be played in Brisbane or the Gold Coast in order to avoid clashes with the National Rugby League, which is more popular in those cities. As it is the most lucrative broadcast timeslot of the weekend, matches between the better-performing clubs are scheduled on Friday night to ensure the games are of high quality. As recently as 2014, however, the Gold Coast Suns have pushed to be featured on Friday nights in 2015, citing their improved form in 2014.
Seven's commentary team includes Bruce McAvaney and Dennis Cometti providing play-by-play commentary, Tom Harley, Wayne Carey and Leigh Matthews with special comments, and field commentary from Tim Watson and Matthew Richardson.
The Seven Network, which broadcast football for around 40 years before losing the rights after the 2001 season, was the first Australian network to broadcast Friday Night Football.
Between 2002-06, the Nine Network had the rights to the Friday night broadcast; as the network also had the rights to the NRL, during those years in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia the AFL match would be broadcast first at 8:30pm, followed by a news update and then the NRL match. This was reversed in New South Wales, the ACT and Queensland, whereby the NRL match was broadcast first, followed by a news update and then the AFL match.
The Seven Network regained the rights in 2007, and from 2007–11 generally showed the match at 8:30pm into Melbourne; this was a one-hour delayed telecast for most matches, but was a live telecast for matches in Perth and sometimes Adelaide. Other than Perth and Adelaide games, only sold-out matches were broadcast live into Melbourne. This was primarily to allow the popular Better Homes and Gardens to be broadcast in the primetime 7:30pm slot. As part of this rights agreement, Seven was expected to show AFL at an earlier timeslot in New South Wales and Queensland in an attempt to boost popularity in those states. Foxtel took this responsibility off Seven, showing the Friday night match live into NSW and QLD on its Main Event channel at no extra charge for Fox Sports subscribers.
A new television rights deal which began in 2012 will see Seven broadcast Friday Night matches live from 7:30pm into Melbourne, thus moving Better Homes and Gardens to Thursday nights (or Wednesday nights, if there is an AFL match to be played on a Thursday night) at 7:30pm in the southern states, whilst it will remain to be broadcast on Friday nights in Sydney and Brisbane, as those cities receive the AFL on 7mate.
In the early days of multichannelling, an early morning replay of the Friday Night game was shown at 6am Saturday on 7Two. This was moved to 7mate for the 2011 season, but did not return from 2012 onwards.
From 2014, the Friday night telecast began at 7:00pm nationally.
- Walsh, Courtney (1 November 2012). "AFL denies strugglers Friday night lights". The Australian.
- Friday night is 'ours': AFL - AFL.com.au
- Is Friday night footy rolled gold for SUNS?, Gold Coast Football Club official website, 9 July 2014
- Musolino, Adrian (17 Feb 2010). "Battlelines drawn over live Friday Night Footy". The Roar. Retrieved 9 Sep 2011.
- Improvements coming to Australian Open, AFL on Seven, TV Tonight, 24 October 2013