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Fox Sports in live footy tussle with hotel giant ahead of season kick off

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Just eight days from the start of the AFL season, broadcaster Fox Sports is yet to finalise negotiations with one of Australia’s largest hotel groups to allow matches to be shown in pubs across the country.

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It is understood the dispute between the subscription broadcaster and the Woolworths-owned ALH Group centres around a proposed price hike for showing Fox Sports in the group’s 300 Australian pubs, which include about 27 in SA.

A Fox Sports spokesman said with the NRL and AFL seasons both starting in the next week, people heading to pubs to watch matches should check the Fox Sports website’s venue finder “to avoid any disappointment”.

“Foxtel is finalising the finer details of our negotiation with ALH, and we expect no interruption in continuing to providing the service its patrons love watching at the pub,” the spokesman said in a statement.

ALH Group is the hotel arm of the Woolworths-owned Endeavour Drinks, which also owns major liquor retailers Dan Murphy’s and BWS as well as wine companies Cellarmasters and Pinnacle Drinks.

Popular ALH pubs in Adelaide include the Ramsgate Hotel at Henley Beach, the Brighton Esplanade Hotel and the Coopers Alehouse Gepps Cross. A full list of ALH Group hotels can be found here.

An ALH Group spokesman said discussions with Fox Sports were ongoing but would not comment further.

The AFL season starts on March 19 when Richmond takes on Carlton while the NRL season kicks off tonight with the Melbourne Storm playing the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

It is understood the previous agreement between the two parties will end on April 1.

Under the AFL’s broadcasting rules for South Australia, a minimum of three matches per week are shown live on free-to-air television during the AFL premiership season while all nine Matches per week are broadcast live on Fox Sports.

During the minor round, All 42 matches involving the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide broadcast on free-to-air television, either live or on delay.

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