MEDIA RELEASE FROM AFLW
The AFL is pleased to announce the inaugural NAB AFL Women’s Competition will commence on Friday February 3 in Melbourne.
The AFL is also thrilled to announce its television broadcast partners for the NAB AFLW Competition, the Seven Network and FOX FOOTY, with every match to be televised live.
Collingwood and Carlton will headline the opening encounter of the 28-match season at Olympic Park Oval under lights.
Round One matches (all times are local):
Friday February 3 7.40pm
Collingwood v Carlton
Olympic Park Oval
Saturday February 4 4.35pm
Adelaide Crows v GWS Giants
Saturday February 4 7.35pm
Western Bulldogs v Fremantle
Victoria University Whitten Oval
Sunday February 5 5.05pm
Melbourne v Brisbane Lions
Matches will be played in seven states over seven weeks at well-known suburban centres around the country; Ikon Park, Olympic Park Oval, VU Whitten Oval and Casey Fields in Melbourne; Thebarton Oval and Norwood Oval in Adelaide, Fremantle Oval and Domain Stadium in Perth, Rushton Park in Mandurah, WA; Manuka Oval in Canberra, Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney in NSW and TIO Stadium in Darwin, along with new venue South Pine Sports Complex in Brendale – north of Brisbane.
The NAB AFL Women’s Grand Final will be played on Saturday, March 25 at a time and venue to be confirmed.
The fixture includes six double-headers with men’s pre-season matches. Five are curtain-raisers and one a curtain-closer.
Fans will enjoy free access to all NAB AFL Women’s competition matches, with the exception of the five double-headers played as curtain-raisers. A ticket to the JLT Community Series match will be required for entry to those games.
Four clubs play four home matches; Adelaide Crows, Collingwood, Fremantle, Western Bulldogs.
Four clubs play three home matches; Brisbane Lions, Carlton, GWS Giants, Melbourne.
AFL General Manager Game and Market Development Simon Lethlean said the home-game split was determined based on venue availability and travel loads, and may differentiate between each season.
“Clubs were consulted on their preferred venues and other requests such as a capacity to host family days. We endeavoured to accommodate club requests where possible, while ensuring accessibility for fans, and other issues such as venue facilities, lighting for night matches and double-headers,” Mr Lethlean said.
“Other match considerations included minimum six-day breaks between matches, providing the opportunity to minimise travel days and the number of weekdays impacted for each club. We are also very conscious of avoiding extreme heat in states such as Brisbane and Perth.”
Eight AFLW home and away matches will be broadcast live on the Seven Network – two in Round One on Friday and Saturday night, then every Saturday night from Rounds Two to Seven. It will broadcast the inaugural NAB AFLW Grand Final exclusively live.
FOX FOOTY will broadcast all 28 home and away matches live (and will broadcast the AFLW Grand Final on delay).
All AFLW matches will be broadcast live on the Official AFL Live App and AFL.com.au
Saul Shtein, Seven Network Head of Sport said: “After the success of our historic-first broadcast of women’s footy in 2015, followed by the big audience that tuned into the 2016 women’s exhibition match in prime time, we’re thrilled to be bringing the inaugural women’s AFL competition to fans in 2017 including the Grand Final exclusively.”
Foxtel’s Managing Director of Content Aggregation and Wholesale Deanne Weir said: “Foxtel is delighted to be delivering the inaugural AFL Women’s League into our subscriber’s homes on FOX FOOTY. Women’s sport is finally being given the recognition it deserves and AFL is the perfect game to showcase the skills and athleticism of these footballers.”
National Australia Bank’s Chief Operating Officer, Customer Product & Services, Antony Cahill, said NAB was delighted to be supporting the AFL Women’s competition.
“At NAB, we value diversity and we believe in equality, that’s why we are thrilled to build on our 14-year partnership which now sees us provide both girls and boys with a clear pathway from NAB AFL Auskick through the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program to the elite games,” Mr Cahill said.
“We are very excited to have the inaugural fixture launched and look forward to seeing the players in action next year,” he continued.