For a long time I have had problems with the AFL website, over the years it has progressively been getting worse and worse. First of all they did a web distribution deal with Bigpond a few years ago who then proceeded to put a completely non-functional 55px high bar on not only afl.com.au but also on each of the club websites. First of all, I’m not convinced this is in the best interest of the AFL, nor the clubs. Why is some random brand plastered in some of the most important real-estate on the page, and secondly why is the AFL diminishing it’s brand. Presumably, the AFL believes that selling the Internet distribution of it’s games is a better deal than dealing with this itself.

Sure, the Internet is tricky, making 24 hours of video available every week to x number of subscribers isn’t going to be an easy thing to do, (a task that Bigpond should have the expertise to pull off.) However the benefits of doing it could be awesome, not only as a money maker for the AFL but also to provide a great experience for the club members and AFL supporters in general. Imagine being able to grab any of the highlights packages (with advertising) for free, or a club Internet membership level where I can watch all 22 home and away games of my club.

This is a case of the AFL being stuck in the past as far as distribution of it’s assets goes, and really isn’t buying into the future of the game. The Internet is the way forward and could be used as an amazing marketing tool in the push for AFL to move across the globe, instead it is being used to push people to subscribe to Telstra’s Bigpond service. This is definitely something the AFL should have considered more carefully, and possibly invested in it’s future rather than it’s bottom line. It is definitely conceivable that the $20 million dollars it made in 2007 might look very small in 2011.

13,906 thoughts on “The dodgy AFL website – part 1

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