McLachlan 'optimistic' on Tassie AFL deal

·2-min read

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan says a monster new broadcast deal, the richest in Australian sports history, does nothing to alter the prospects of a potential Tasmanian club.

The AFL on Tuesday confirmed a $4.5 billion deal with the Seven Network, Foxtel and Telstra until the end of 2031.

A decision is looming on the Tasmanian government's bid for the state to become the AFL's 19th club.

The 18 club presidents had originally been scheduled to vote on the bid by the end of August, but the timeline has been pushed back and is unlikely to take place before the grand final on September 24.

McLachlan said the new TV rights deal "contemplates" an 18-and-19-team competition but a new club was far from guaranteed.

"We're optimistic of reaching some agreement with the Tasmanian government and we would then go to our presidents, boards and clubs in the coming weeks," McLachlan told reporters on Tuesday.

"There would be a process that plays out there.

"I think Tasmanians should have faith in their government that they are prosecuting their interests, I don't think today changes anything.

"The commission's commitment to the 18 shareholders and the clubs is if it's the right deal for the football, which includes Tasmanians, then we'll push ahead. If it's not then it won't go ahead."

The Tasmanian government is undertaking a $1.25 million feasibility study into a new stadium in Hobart's CBD, which it estimates could cost around $750 million.

McLachlan has previously indicated the success of Tasmania's bid is contingent on the development of a new stadium to replace UTAS Stadium in Launceston and Blundstone Arena in Hobart.

Tasmanian premier Jeremy Rockliff addressed the government's bid in state parliament on Tuesday.

"We're currently working through with the AFL to understand their commitments to the new club," Rockliff said on Tuesday.

"That relates to support for the new club and infrastructure plans for the local Tasmanian competition and mutually agreeing on the constitution to oversee the licence and the club.

The AFL, together with Tasmanian government representatives, are working to finalise these key matters."