New TVNZ Channel ‘Duke’ brings live AFL to New Zealand screens

The AFL is pleased to announce TVNZ has been granted AFL international broadcasting rights.


TVNZ’s launch of new channel ‘Duke’, is bringing the power and pace of the AFL to Kiwi homes via Freeview channel 13 and Sky channel 23 in a multi-year deal signed with the AFL.

The three-year rights term will run from 2016 to 2018 and coverage of the AFL commences Thursday March 24th at 9.00pm.

In 2016, Duke will broadcast a minimum of three live matches per week of the home and away season and a furter match either live or delayed per week of the home and away season.

TVNZ’s Director of Content Jeff Latch says TVNZ is excited to be partnering with the AFL and bringing such an iconic Australian sport to Kiwi lounges in a free-to-air capacity.

“We’re not sure if it will fuel a complete change from NZ’s rugby psyche just yet but we know Kiwis will appreciate the skill and pace of the game.”

TVNZ will also air the AFL’s Weekly Highlights Program and has the rights to air key AFL events including the Season Launch, Australian Football Hall of Fame, Rising Star, All Australian, Grand Final Parade, Brownlow Medal and the AFL Draft.

AFL General Manager – Game Development, Simon Lethlean, shared this sentiment, calling TVNZ’s expanded AFL coverage a great result for fans and potential fans of the game.

“We are delighted AFL fans in New Zealand have the opportunity to watch matches live thanks to TVNZ’s coverage,” he said.

“As AFL clubs, AFL KiwiKick and AFL9’s participation continues to grow in New Zealand so does the interest in watching AFL matches.”

“We look forward to working in partnership with TVNZ in the coming years.”

Duke has also secured coverage of the NBA and the German Bundesliga.

AFL coverage will kick-off with Richmond vs Carlton, Thursday March 24th at 9.00pm on Freeview channel 13 and Sky Channel 23.

TVNZ AFL broadcast rights are in addition to the current rights held by Sky NZ.  Sky NZ currently broadcasts one AFL match per week of the premiership season.