AFL commentator Kane Cornes has taken aim at the “disrespectful” 2022 fixture that has seen South Australian teams, West Coast and Fremantle relegated during Friday night prime time slots.
The Dockers have drawn their first Friday night clash since 2016 in round eight, but it won’t be shown on free-to-air TV with the AFL scheduling a Port Adelaide-Western Bulldogs blockbuster earlier the same night in Adelaide.
The Adelaide showdown in round three is another match that has been pushed to pay-per-view provider Foxtel, with their clash scheduled on the same Friday night as Melbourne v Essendon at the MCG starting just an hour earlier.
The decision to overlap games on a Friday night didn’t sit well with Cornes.
“It’s disrespectful to the game,” he complained on SEN.
“I know the AFL are experimenting with the fixture… there’s a couple of Friday night double headers that overlap.
“I don’t understand why they would do that?
“This is ridiculous.
“I’m not at all happy about this.”
West Coast are also drawn to face Sydney at Optus Stadium on Good Friday following the clash between North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.
But unlike the Showdown and Fremantle’s clash with North Melbourne in round eight, the Eagles will at least get clear air for their match — but still won’t feature on free-to-air TV.
AFL fixtures boss Travis Auld defended the Showdown timeslot, given the AFLW grand final will be played the following day.
“It’s a trial and we’ll see how it goes,” he said on SEN.
“You’ve got nine games across the weekend… and it’s really difficult without a Thursday night because you need to start a game at a time when people can get to it.
“You need to balance how do you get people who play community football or are involved in community football to the games. Families and kids, you’ve got to make sure the games aren’t too late for them.
“It’s not perfect when you’ve got nine games across the weekend.”
The Dockers last won a Friday night clash back in round one, 2014 against Collingwood.
They’ve played six times on Friday night since then — losing by an average 31.6 points.