The exciting partnership between AFL New Zealand and Sommet Sports is set to continue over summer. New Zealanders will have the chance to watch more AFL during the off-season, in a development sure to cement the allegiance of new fans.
Every Wednesday, Sommet Sports will replay an AFL match in an after-school timeslot. This will give children who have participated in AFL KiwiKick, teenagers who have participated in AFL New Zealand’s secondary school programmes, and adults who are part of Play AFL Clubs, the chance to see more of the new and dynamic sport of AFL.
Sommet Sports is New Zealand’s newest sports channel, and the only sports channel in the country that broadcasts free to air. While they offer a diverse range of sports, one of their biggest successes to date has been broadcasting up to six live AFL matches every week, with the rest shown on delayed coverage. This coverage of the AFL is the most comprehensive in the world.
The partnership between AFL New Zealand and Sommet Sports was recognised at the AFL New Zealand Community Awards, held in conjunction with the AFL Grand Final. Mark Cathie, General Manager of Sommet Sports, accepted the award on behalf of his organisation. Appropriately, the award was given just before the biggest day for a sport that has consistently rated well for Sommet Sports.
As Mark Cathie made mention of during his speech, there is high demand in New Zealand for a more varied range of sports broadcasting than has previously been offered. Due to the links between New Zealand and Australia, as well as the dynamic and exciting nature of the sport, AFL is a perfect example of a sport that will grow if given the oxygen of television coverage, coupled with the many development programmes operated by AFL New Zealand.
Sommet Sports are supportive of the games development through its coverage, as well as the airing of messaging for the local community. The messages of “Play AFL” and “Watch AFL” are an integral part in the growth of AFL with in New Zealand. Messaging on Sommet celebrates the pathways tied to AFL that are on offer to New Zealanders.
AFL New Zealand looks forward to the continuation and strengthening of the relationship with Sommet Sports. Through the steady growth of numbers playing AFL both socially and competitively, and with increased exposure of the sport, more viewers will be tuning into Sommet Sports next season to watch AFL. This in turn will be a major part of the story of AFL becoming a New Zealand game.