From The West Australian
Reported by John Townsend
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Channel 7 is set to cover the Victorian Football League next season in a move that could boost the network's chances of broadcasting the WAFL.
No deal has been signed between the network and the VFL but negotiations are understood to be significantly advanced.
The VFL's move to Channel 7 would mirror the arrangements in South Australia where the network has returned strong ratings in the first year of its SANFL coverage.
The inaugural match between Port Adelaide and new team Adelaide drew a peak of 81,000 viewers on 7mate - an audience larger than an AFL match broadcast into Adelaide that weekend
The WA Football Commission has identified Channel 7 as its preferred broadcast partner for the next three years and is attempting to find sponsors to underwrite the coverage.
The Victorian development, coming so soon after the SANFL success story, is likely to bolster the commission's bid to find sponsors.
Seven West Media, which operates Channel 7 and publishes _The West Australian _, was confident that progress was being made by the commission.
"I am confident that we have made substantial progress in finding support in the corporate market," Channel 7 managing director Mario D'Orazio said.
"We are confident that the football commission will eventually find the necessary support."
D'Orazio's confidence was matched by WAFC chief operating officer Nick Sautner, who has been charged with establishing a new broadcast deal.
"We are working in collaboration with Seven and continue to put proposals forward," Sautner said.