The 2017 McDonald’s WAFL Premiership Season will open with a televised Saturday night blockbuster between East Perth and Peel Thunder live on the Seven Network on March 18, a week prior to the AFL season.
The 2017 season will feature 23 rounds in total, with 18 games and the finals series to be televised live on the Seven Network. More than 78% of games have been scheduled in the traditional Saturday afternoon timeslot.
West Australian Football Commission CEO Gavin Taylor said the 2017 fixture aimed to grow and enhance the WAFL competition by promoting competitive matches, supporting special feature rounds and offering prime-time television coverage.
“There were a significant number of variables considered in developing the fixture including fan feedback, club byes, feature rounds, achieving a home and away flow for each club, equalization measures and maximising broadcast opportunities on the 7 Network,” Mr Taylor said.
“The WAFL clubs do a terrific job with activities for fans and families at their games. The fans have a unique chance to get up close to the action, see some of WA’s best talent on display, listen to the coaches and enjoy a kick on the ground at the breaks.
“I would encourage anyone who has never been to a WAFL game before to head down this season or contact their local club about membership offers.”
Mr Taylor also acknowledged WAFL broadcast partners AHG, Kennards, REIWA, McDonald’s and the Seven Network upon entering the third year of a partnership to broadcast WAFL games on free-to-air television for fans throughout Western Australia.
In 2016, the total WAFL TV audience grew by 25% to 875,074, which saw the competition ranked first for viewer growth out of all televised West Australian winter sports teams or competitions.
On average, 38,047 people tuned into each WAFL game on the Seven Network, which was a 20% increase on the previous year’s average audience.
Mr Taylor said it was also exciting that the Seven Network had confirmed Dennis Cometti would be involved with the WAFL as a special commentator in 2017.
“To have somebody of Dennis’ caliber involved with our premier State League, where it all began for him as a commentator, is terrific news for the competition,” he said.
“With the combination of a competitive fixture and the excellent coverage by the Seven Network and our other media partners, 2017 promises to be an exciting season which will continue to grow and enhance the WAFL competition and its clubs,” he said.
Download fixture card: 2017 WAFL Fixtures