Foxtel is making new attempts to get back in the AFL game with the Seven and Ten Networks, with help it seems in the publicity stakes from the AFL.

Seven and Ten rejected Foxtel’s offer before Christmas of $45 million cash for four games, plus $5 top up from Austar and promises of higher spending on contra advertising.

That offer is believed to have been renewed but with a small increase. It is not known if the increase was in the cash or non-cash parts of the offer.

Negotiations are not proceeding at this stage.

What Seven and Ten want is $60 million in cash from Foxtel but Foxtel and Fox Sports are being prevented from offering any more cash.

Both Foxtel and Fox Sports want to settle with a higher amount involved but are being prevented by opposition to the deal from the Park St HQ of PBL which owns 25% of Foxtel and 50% of Fox Sports owner, Premier Media Group.

According to pay TV sources, Foxtel and Fox Sports (especially David Malone, the head of Premier Media and Fox Sports) would hand over the amount in cash tomorrow if they had the freedom to do so.

Meanwhile Seven is negotiating with SBS to broadcast the Friday night games in Sydney and with SBS and the Channel 31 station in Brisbane to Broadcast games in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Seven and SBS have been talking about a three year deal, which if ratified, would see Foxtel locked out effectively until 2011, which it doesn’t want to see happen.

Fox Sports knows it is facing declining revenues if there is no AFL: Fox Sports would face lower payments and cancellations from pubs and clubs and lower ad revenues.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey