AFL confident with fixture timeslots

The AFL will stick with games from Thursday to Sunday amid talk the competition should stop scheduling matches at the same time.

TV viewers have traditionally had to switch between games on Saturday and Sunday with many overlapping.

But for the first four rounds of the competition restart, three matches will be played consecutively on Sundays with the AFL pushing back the twilight fixture to a 6.05pm timeslot.

With Thursday nights locked in for the first month, it means the only games being played simultaneously will be on a Saturday night.

It has led to some football identities, including former Brisbane champion Jonathan Brown and Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy, calling for the AFL to scrap overlapping matches altogether.

Since 2017, the NRL has avoided fixture clashes with a regular Thursday night game, followed by back-to-back matches on Friday nights. It previously tried Monday night football for a decade.

But the AFL’s fixture boss says Travis Auld says they won’t be going down that path anytime soon.

Sunday nights are not even certain to stay when crowds are allowed back, with the timeslot previously proving unpopular with families.

“We feel we’ve been able to accommodate with the Thursday nights enough of those big games and then spread out the rest of the round,” Auld told Fox Footy.

“(Two Friday night games) could’ve happened this year given we’re not concerned with crowds but we feel like Thursday nights will work quite well.

“We had those discussions particularly with our broadcast partners to see what their preference would be and it landed on Thursday through to Sundays.

“It also works well for the clubs because it helps you manage days breaks and obviously that’s pretty important when you’re flying around the country.”





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