Contributed by: Brett Northey Tuesday, November 24 2009 @ 06:03 am ACDT
Following the Australian Football League's announcement of an exhibition match next year between Brisbane and Melbourne in Shanghai, further Australian media reports say the AFL has fielded interest from a major media company to broadcast matches into the giant communist country.
The AFL's David Matthews was quoted as saying, "We have rightly been preoccupied with establishing our position at home and branching out into other states and areas of Australia. But now is the time to say, 'If we have got an international aspiration, we need to have a look at these type of opportunities'.''
An article in The Age says Negotiations with Shanghai Media Group, which broadcasts into 20 million homes in southern China, have proved immediately fruitful, with the broadcaster already signing on to broadcast next October's clash and also keen to expand coverage and pursue a closer partnership with the AFL. A delegation from the Chinese broadcaster will travel to Australia in March to take in the season-opening match between Richmond and Carlton at the MCG. Partly they will be there to learn how best to broadcast the sport but also to test the waters for a longer-term involvement.
See China ahoy as AFL tests new market[*1] . The article also claims a match for premiership points could be played in China within two years.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation also has video related[*2] to the announcement of the 2010 exhibition match.