THE AFL stands to gain upward of $19 million from yesterday’s grand final draw, and while the bruised bodies of the St Kilda and Collingwood combatants will suffer from having to back up, the result is a resounding win for the industry broadly.
Television broadcaster Channel Seven was momentarily hopeful that next Saturday’s grand final would be the first ever held at twilight, under lights at the MCG, but that was rejected by the AFL last night which, in announcing that the game would be replayed at 2.30pm, also said the AFL Commission had ruled that extra time would be played in the case of another draw.
Regardless, Channel Seven has struck a ratings bonanza given it will now broadcast what is one of Australia’s most watched television events annually on consecutive weeks.
The AFL commission hastily ruled last night that extra time would be played, arguing it would be unfair to ask players to play three consecutive weeks. There was uncertainty however, as to whether there would be another grand final parade and pre-match entertainment…
TABcorp held $35,000 on the draw, paying out $1.1 million. Win-loss betting on the grand final was estimated at $8 million, which made for a $7 million windfall for the corporate bookmaker.
It was reported to be the shortest odds for a draw in AFL grand final history, opening after the preliminary finals at $34 and at the opening bounce at $6.
H/T: Julia Gillard