With the shortage of sports at the moment, not only in the United States but throughout the world, ESPN has been coming up with creative ways to fill all the open time slots on the network. Today, they announced that they would bring back an early fan-favorite, Australian Rules Football.

What’s Happening:

  • ESPN has brought back one of its earliest fan favorites, live Australian rules football, which returned Friday morning at 5:30 a.m. ET with the Geelong Cats vs. Hawthorn Hawks on ESPN2.  Regular-season action will continue with one live match per week on a linear TV channel and one on ESPN3.  Another recent game was the Sydney Swans playing Essendon Bombers that had been streaming on ESPN3 on Sunday, June 14, at 1:30 a.m. (Saturday at 10:30 p.m. PT).
  • A total of 32 Australian Football League (AFL) games across 16 weeks will be presented.  Commentary and graphics will come from the host broadcaster.
  • ESPN, which launched in September 1979, gained some of its first national attention by airing Australian Rules Football in its first year as the sport quickly grew a cult-like following.  ESPN continued with AFL through 1985, airing the Grand Final live for the final three years.  ESPN2 aired AFL in 1996-97 and 2010-11.

ICYMI: More ESPN Programming Updates

  • Later tonight, ESPN will premiere a SportsCenter special called The Return of Sports, at 9:00 pm ET. Commissioners from six of the top American professional team sports leagues will discuss the return to competition. Get Up’s Mike Greenberg will host the two-hour primetime special with Gary Bettman (NHL), Cathy Engelbert (WNBA), Don Garber (MLS), Roger Goodell (NFL), Rob Manfred (MLB) and Adam Silver (NBA) expected to participate in the conversation.
  • ESPN+ and the PGA TOUR have reached an agreement for ESPN+ to stream live, featured-hole coverage from 12 PGA TOUR events this season, starting with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, this weekend through the FedExCup Playoffs and the TOUR Championship, Sept. 6-7 in Atlanta.