The AFL`s official internet/mobile broadcasting partner is BigPond, which is part of Telstra. The company hosts the league`s website and that of each of the eight participating clubs. The AFL has retained the rights to digitally broadcast games from the league`s first season and will broadcast all games live and for free on the league`s website and mobile app.  As of 2021, Kayo Sports has been broadcasting all AFLW matches live and on-demand in Australia.  An Australian national women`s football competition organised by the AFL began in 2017. The first competition took place in February and March, with four teams from Victoria and one from Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. Since then, the league has expanded to 18 teams. A combined and draft of AFLW players is held annually. Check out the list of Grand Final winners. The other clubs that had applied to participate in the first season received provisional licenses to be part of an expanded women`s league in the future. These teams were Richmond, Geelong, North Melbourne, St Kilda and the West Coast Eagles.
Four more teams have been added to the league for the 2020 season – Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast – meaning the AFLW has grown from eight to 14 teams in four years. The 2020 season ended prematurely without the Premiership being awarded. The success of these exhibition games prompted the AFL to accelerate its plans for a national women`s competition and announce a preferred start date for 2017.  Previously, the league had only announced ambitious plans to establish women`s competition by 2020.  The already planned 2016 exhibition series has been expanded to date by a total of ten matches, which will take place at venues across the country and will include a number of new temporary representative teams.  MELBOURNE, May 19 (Reuters) – Players in Australian football`s top division will receive an average salary increase of 94% under a new collective agreement (CBA) with the league. On September 27, 2017, the AFL announced that Geelong and North Melbourne had been selected for the 2019 competition.  North Melbourne has maintained its commitment to playing matches in Tasmania.  The league then expanded four more teams in 2020, with the AFL selecting Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast for competition.
  The growth of clubs has been accompanied by the introduction of American-style conferences for the 2019 season, more details of which can be found in the seasonal structure section of this article. The conferences were abandoned before the 2021 season in favor of the traditional single scale.  The 2020 season was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually cancelled without a Premiership being awarded.  First, clubs were asked to propose a list of desired players, with the AFL awarding two of these « marquee » players to each club. In addition, clubs could sign a number of players with existing ties to the club or with arrangements for club-sponsored work or study.    This number varied for each club in order to distribute talent equally between teams. In addition, the clubs had to recruit two « rookies » – people with no experience in Australian football in the previous three years. The majority of the players were then recruited through the 2016 AFL Women`s Draft.  The remaining positions on the roster were filled with free agent signatures the week following the draft.
In total, the clubs have signed 27 players from the active list as well as injured substitutes to replace the long-term injured players. Prior to the league`s inception, the AFL hosted four years of friendly matches between teams representing Melbourne and Western Bulldogs. In 2016, the series was expanded to several teams from across the country. The rules are mostly the same as those of the AFL, with a few exceptions. For 2019, the main differences were women who used a slightly smaller ball; played shorter quarters (15 minutes instead of 20); had 16 in the field at the same time (instead of 18); 5 exchange players; and have no limit on the number of player rotations (instead of four trading players and 90 total rotations).  In 2021, the league returned to a single leader of 14 teams. Each team played 9 games, with the top six qualifying for a three-week final series. All finals are knockout matches, with the top two teams having a bye in the first round of the final.  Since 2022, the competition has been contested by 18 teams, and the final series has been extended to eight teams and will be played according to the AFL Final Eight system used in men`s competition since the 2000 season. The first on-field leg towards competition took place in 2013, when the AFL announced a friendly match between Melbourne women`s teams and Western Bulldogs in June of the same year. The historic match attracted 7,518 spectators and was won by Melbourne by 35 points.  In 2010, the AFL commissioned a report on the state of women`s football across the country.
 Alongside the findings on grassroots and junior football, the AFL Commission report recommended the creation of a women`s national league. While the option of new standalone clubs has been considered, a model that leverages the resources and branding of existing AFL clubs should be the preferred model for the planned league.  Details of the league`s branding were released in the second half of 2016. The AFL announced that the league was released on September 15. September 2016 would be called « AFL Women`s » or AFLW for short, with the logo unveiled on September 19, 2016.   The logo is a stylized reproduction of a goal square and goal posts from the Australian football field, drawn from a perspective that shows a « W ».  On October 10, 2016, National Australia Bank was named sponsor of the league`s naming rights.  AFL Women`s (AFLW) is Australia`s semi-professional national women`s football league for female players.
The league`s first season in February and March 2017 featured eight teams; The league was expanded to 10 teams in the 2019 season, 14 teams in 2020 and 18 teams in 2022. The league is managed by the Australian Football League (AFL) and is contested by each of the clubs in this competition. The incumbent prime ministers are Adelaide. National Australia Bank is the league`s first current naming rights partner (in 2019).  All play and training equipment, as well as all licensed clothing and hats for league clubs, are manufactured by Cotton On.  The other sponsors of the league in 2017 were Wolf Blass, Chemist Warehouse and Kellogg`s.    The official supplier of the ball is Sherrin.  The AFLW is the most visited women`s football competition in Australia and one of the most popular women`s football competitions in the world. Its average attendance in 2019 of 6,262 per game made it the second highest of all national women`s football competitions. The record attendance of 53,034 spectators for the 2019 AFL Women`s Grand Final was the highest of any women`s sport in Australia and remains the highest of all female footballers in Australia. The inaugural season ended with the Grand Final on Saturday, March 25, 2017. The Adelaide Crows were crowned first in the league after beating the first miners, the Brisbane Lions.
The score was Adelaide 4.11 (35) vs. Brisbane 4.5 (29).  In the first season of 2017, all games were broadcast live by Partners Seven Network and Fox Footy.  Under the first broadcast contract, the free airline Seven broadcast one Saturday night game per week by default, in addition to the opening game and the league grand final. Pay TV channel Fox Footy broadcast all the matches of the Premiership season, including the simultaneous broadcasts of the seven matches held with the exception of the grand final.  Both television stations covered the costs of broadcasting these games, in return for which no licence fee was to be paid to the league.  The AFLW attracted an audience of over 1 million participants and 2 million viewers and managed to maintain a high level of interest despite the shift to mainly ticket and subscription broadcast models.
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