AFL Pre Seasons 2015 NAB Challenge Cup Live West Coast Eagles vs Carlton Blues match will be kick offRushton Park, Mandurah, Western Australia,Friday 27 February 2015 online, Time 16:10 AEDT and its broadcast on Foxtel.
Taylor Walker will captain the Crows for the first time on Sunday — but fans won’t see it
Taylor Walker will captain the Crows for the first time on Sunday — but fans won’t see it if they aren’t at the game. Picture: Sarah Reed
THE AFL has left several of its clubs baffled and frustrated by an edict preventing them from broadcasting the six NAB Challenge matches that are not being televised over the next month.
A record 21 (of 27) pre-season matches will be shown on Fox Footy over the next four weeks, but fans from 12 clubs will have no way of watching matches involving their team, despite those clubs requesting to either live stream or post replays on their websites.
The four teams playing non-televised NAB Challenge openers this weekend — Brisbane Lions, St Kilda, North Melbourne and Adelaide — had sought to show quarter-by-quarter web broadcasts, but were blocked by the AFL on the basis that the coverage would not be of an acceptable quality.
In an email to clubs, the AFL’s general manager of broadcasting, Simon Lethlean, suggested clubs would be in breach of the broadcasting agreement if they showed matches, and told them the AFL’s website would instead put together 16 30-second highlight clips.
“We have a view as to how the matches need to be presented to fans,’’ an AFL spokesman said.
“Our view is that we worked to ensure that every club would be broadcast at least twice, bearing in mind that with the NAB Challenge, a key thing for us is to play in communities and locations that in many parts would never host (AFL) games.
“That’s part of the charter of taking the NAB Challenge to different parts of Australia, bearing in mind that for some of those venues there can be challenges with the broadcast.
“Last year we had the 18 games in 18 days and didn’t broadcast any of the nine matches on the final weekend. This year we’re broadcasting 21 of the 27 … down the track hopefully we’ll be able to broadcast all of them.’’
As the ball is bounced in the AFL’s “year of the fan”, the first match to feel the blackout will be Saturday afternoon’s match between the Lions and St Kilda at Burpengary, 35km from the Brisbane CBD.
On Sunday the Adelaide Crows — in what is being billed as the debut of a new coach, a new captain and a new era — will host North Melbourne at Port Lincoln, 650km from their home base.
All four clubs lobbied the AFL to allow their matches to be shown in full on their websites.
Crows chief executive Andrew Fagan said the AFL rejected their approached to stream the game live or show a full replay.
“It is unfortunate that the game won’t be broadcast live especially given it is the team’s first under new coach Phil Walsh,” Fagan said.
“In saying that, the match does give some of our loyal regional members and fans a chance to see us play in their own backyard.’’
North was keen to look at a repeat of last year’s NAB Challenge match against Geelong at Simonds Stadium, when both clubs split the cost of a live stream complete with Fox Footy commentators, but was told that would not be possible.
Fans of the clubs affected have hit social media slamming the fact that the six matches will not be shown.
WEST COAST: 1. Mitch Brown, 2. Mark LeCras, 3. Andrew Gaff, 4. Dom Sheed, 5. Brad Sheppard, 6. Elliott Yeo, 7. Chris Masten, 11. Matt Priddis, 12. Sharrod Wellingham, 13. Luke Shuey, 15. Jamie Cripps, 16. Eric Mackenzie, 17. Josh Kennedy, 18. Xavier Ellis, 20. Jeremy McGovern, 22. Callum Sinclair, 24. Matt Rosa, 25. Shannon Hurn, 26. Sam Butler, 28. Tom Lamb, 29. Scott Lycett, 30. Jackson Nelson, 31. Will Schofield, 32. Simon Tunbridge, 33. Josh Hill, 35. Patrick McGinnity, 39. Malcolm Karpany, 44. Jamie Bennell, 47. Kane Lucas
CARLTON: 2. Troy Menzel, 6. Kade Simpson, 7. Dylan Buckley, 9. Patrick Cripps, 10. Matthew Watson, 12. Blaine Boekhorst, 13. Chris Yarran, 14. Liam Jones, 15. Sam Docherty, 16. Dillon Viojo-Rainbow, 17. Sam Rowe, 18. Kristian Jaksch, 21. Ciaran Sheehan, 22. Jason Tutt, 25. Clem Smith, 27. Dennis Armfield, 28. Tom Bell, 29. Billy Gowers, 30. Blaine Johnson, 31. Matthew Dick,32. Nicholas Graham, 34. Bradley Walsh, 35. Edward Curnow, 36. Cameron Wood, 37. Tom Fields, 38. Ciaran Byrne, 41. Levi Casboult, 42. Zach Tuohy, 43. Simon White