Over the past 10 years the AFL Draft has grown in profile, just 3 years ago it was a 1 hour highlight show on Saturday afternoon, this year it will make it's debut in prime time on Fox Sports on Thursday night.
Some purists may suggest that this is just another example of the AFL following the lead of US sports like the NFL and NBA, but why not follow? The NFL draft is so successful it is covered by TWO networks! USA Today describes the NFL Draft as “the next step in the evolution on the highest-rated TV sports where nobody moves much”.
The AFL Draft will be a HIT in prime time as fans are missing their footy fix. The draft provides one thing to all footy fans, hope. The televised AFL Draft will be slightly different to the NFL as the top 10 picks will be announced in reverse order from 10 to 1. Will this work? We'll see on Thursday.
The AFL is promoting the Draft on AFL.com.au with the AFL Draft Machine . It allows fans to sift through draft prospects and try to determine who their team may pick up. Online promotions like this are terrific in allowing fans to participate in an event. It allows the AFL to “crowd source” data regarding the popularity of picks and report back to the fans. This exactly what Mark Cuban was talking about on why Live Sports is still the king on TV.