AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan Press Conference
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 15: AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan speaks to the media during a press conference at AFL House on July 15, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The AFL have announced their latest broadcast rights deal, with Channel 7 and Foxtel retaining the rights for an additional seven years.

The deal becomes the biggest broadcast deal in Australian sport, tying the rights to the two parties until at least the end of 2031.

There had been significant competition to obtain the broadcast rights, with Channel 7 and Foxtel's existing deal set to expire at the conclusion of 2024. Nine Entertainment Co had reportedly made an offer to the league as late as Monday, reportedly worth around $500 million a year, according to The Age.

Network Ten and streaming platform Paramount Plus were also in the mix, raising concerns about the ongoing accessibility of live sport heading into the future.

In an announcement on Tuesday, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan confirmed the new deal was worth $4.5 billion. 

"Footy is the greatest game in the world and we have the best broadcast partners and our announcement today is the biggest partnership in the history of Australian sport," McLachlan said.

"We are very proud to once again be hand in hand with Seven Network, Foxtel, Kayo and Telstra."

Foxtel is set to have exclusive rights to air Saturday games from 2024 onwards alongside streaming platform Kayo for the opening eight rounds, with Channel 7 to retain free-to-air rights for certain games.

The opening 15 rounds of the season will also feature a Thursday night match.

The upgraded 7Plus AFL hub will have access to replays and on-demand highlights in addition to live streaming.

Foxtel are also set to use their own commentary for all nine matches of each round.