By AFL Media.
The 2021 VFL Premiership Season kicks off tonight with four Queensland teams joining the expanded 22-team competition.
It’s a new era for the league, with the AFL announcing overnight it had reached an agreement on a historic broadcast deal with the Seven Network, Foxtel and Kayo.
With these agreements, the AFL has expanded its coverage of the VFL to reach a broader audience, taking it into the homes of more football fans than ever before.
Seven will broadcast the VFL’s match of the day live and free on Sundays during 2021, and fans will also be able to live-stream it via Seven’s market-leading BVOD platform, 7plus. The match will be a central part of a massive day of footy on Seven that also includes Sunday Footy Fest hosted by Abbey Gelmi and the Sunday afternoon AFL blockbuster.
Kayo will broadcast at least two additional matches live every round on Kayo Freebies (no paywall) with Kayo to broadcast three matches in each of the first two rounds to kick-off the season.
2021 will see the VFL hit the airwaves of Fox Footy with a Thursday night match live on Fox Footy in the weeks when there is no AFL Thursday night game – simulcast on Kayo, Foxtel Go, Foxtel Now.
VFL Finals Series matches will be broadcast by Seven, Foxtel and Kayo.
Broadcast will begin this Saturday with the Sydney Swans v GWS GIANTS clash at Lakeside Oval in Sydney and Brisbane v Essendon at Moreton Bay Sports Complex in Brisbane. Both games are live and free on Kayo Freebies from 12.00pm.
Sunday’s game between Premiership fancies Box Hill Hawks and Casey Demons will be shown live and free from 12.00pm on Channel 7 and 7plus, followed by the Hawthorn and Melbourne AFL clash at the MCG on Channel 7 and 7 mate from 3.00pm.
Tristan Salter Head of Talent Pathways and State League Competitions said the partnership reflected the growth opportunities in the VFL this season.
“We are so excited that VFL footy is back. All 22 clubs play a vital role in keeping their suburban and regional networks engaged. They are pillars of their local communities and so important to growing and nurturing our national code.”
“We begin a new era for the VFL in 2021 with a renewed level of optimism and excitement, focusing on delivering fans the highest standard of state league football in Australia at more venues and across multiple channels.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have broadcast partners who share our commitment to expanding the game, and the new broadcast offering to state league competitions is a real boost for the VFL across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.”
“We know the legion of supporters are looking forward to the return of the VFL season and there is much for fans to look forward to, whether that be attending matches or watching the broadcast.”
Managing Director Seven Melbourne and Head of Network Sport Lewis Martin commented:
“The VFL was sorely missed in 2020, so we’re rapt it will back bigger and better than ever this season, live and free on Seven,” Martin said.
“On Sundays in 2021, Seven will bring fans the VFL match of the day, as part of a huge afternoon of footy, which also includes the most comprehensive wrap of all the round’s action, Sunday Footy Fest hosted by Abbey Gelmi, leading into a powerhouse AFL Sunday afternoon clash.”
“In addition to the Seven broadcast, fans will be able to live-stream the VFL action on Sundays on 7plus, while our live and free coverage will again be led by the VFL’s #1 commentary team.”
Fox Sports Executive Director, Steve Crawley, said:
“We are thrilled to be able to bring VFL footy to a whole new audience in 2021 via Foxtel and Kayo, with more coverage than ever before.
“The expert Fox Footy team will be covering every Thursday night match as well as the Finals, with fans able to watch live on Foxtel or stream on Kayo. In a major boost, Kayo will also produce a minimum of two additional matches per round which will be streamed live and free on Kayo Freebies.
“VFL plays a major role not only as a feeder league to the AFL, but also in keeping community footy clubs engaged, so we’re excited to make more matches accessible to dedicated footy fans across the country.”
2021 VFL Broadcast Matches
Saturday April 17
12.00pm Sydney Swans vs. GWS Giants – Tramway Oval (Lakeside Oval) – Kayo Freebies
12.00pm Brisbane Lions vs. Essendon – Moreton Bay Sports Complex – Kayo Freebies
Sunday April 18
12.05pm Box Hill Hawks vs. Casey Demons – Box Hill City Oval – Seven
1.00pm Geelong vs. North Melbourne – GMHBA Stadium – Kayo Freebies
Thursday April 22
7.10pm GWS Giants vs. Footscray – Blacktown International – FoxFooty
Saturday April 24
11.00am Carlton vs. Brisbane Lions – IKON Park – Kayo Freebies
2.30pm Port Melbourne vs. Sandringham – ETU Stadium – Kayo Freebies
Live streaming of additional games will be coordinated by the AFL and relevant clubs.