Australian Rules Football Returns to ESPN

FootballMiscellaneous Sports

Australian Rules Football Returns to ESPN

Two Games per Week

ESPN has brought back one of its earliest fan favorites, live Australian rules football, which returned Friday morning at 5:30 a.m. ET with the Geelong Cats vs. Hawthorn Hawks on ESPN2.  Regular-season action will continue with one live match per week on a linear TV channel and one on ESPN3.  The next game will be Sydney Swans playing Essendon Bombers streaming on ESPN3 on Sunday, June 14, at 1:30 a.m. (Saturday at 10:30 p.m. PT).

A total of 32 Australian Football League (AFL) games across 16 weeks will be presented.  Commentary and graphics will come from the host broadcaster.

ESPN, which launched in September 1979, gained some of its first national attention by airing Australian Rules Football in its first year as the sport quickly grew a cult-like following.  ESPN continued with AFL through 1985, airing the Grand Final live the final three years.  ESPN2 aired AFL in 1996-97 and 2010-11.

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Dave Nagle

As I write this on 11-11-21, it's now 35 years for me at ESPN, the only real job I’ve ever had. I joined merely to help with the upcoming America’s Cup in Australia. I was told it would be for three months at all of $5.50 per hour. I like to say I simply kept showing up. I’ve worked on almost every sport, plus answered viewer calls and letters (people used to write!), given tours, written the company newsletter and once drove NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon to the local airport. My travels have been varied…I’ve been to Martinsville, Darlington, Indy and Super Bowls; the America’s Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport’s meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals, Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, my main areas are tennis, UFC, boxing, network-wide ratings (by month/quarter/year), and corporate communications documents, including fact sheets, chronologies, lists and nearly 35 of the Year in Review press releases. UPDATE EXACTLY ONE YEAR LATER: Today, November 11, 2022, I am retiring from ESPN -- 36 years to the day I began. As I ride off into the sunset – top down and E Street Radio blaring – I do so with so many wonderful memories, proud of my contributions and a heart full of gratitude for the opportunity. 
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