Bruce McAvaney has stepped away from AFL commentary ahead of the 2021 season, but the highly respected broadcaster intends to continue his career.

Key points:

  • McAvaney says he will miss calling the AFL but he needed a reduced workload
  • He will continue as a sport broadcaster with the Seven Network
  • The 67-year-old called over 1,000 AFL matches during his broadcast career

McAvaney, 67, announced his decision less than three weeks out from the first round of the AFL premiership.

He said a desire to reduce his workload was largely behind the move.

“I’m going to miss it enormously,” McAvaney told the Seven Network.

“I just visualise when Richmond and Carlton run out there in round one, and the ball is bounced, I’m going to climb a wall somewhere.

The Adelaide-based McAvaney will continue to be a member of Seven’s horse racing broadcast team and will be a part of the network’s coverage of the Tokyo Olympics later this year if they go ahead as planned.

He said he was not considering retirement just yet.

“It’s just a new phase, where I cut back slightly,” McAvaney said.

“Anything I’m asked to do at Seven I’m going to do with the same enthusiasm and same commitment.”

McAvaney’s decision, announced on Sunday afternoon, was met with praise for his career on Twitter.


According to the Seven Network, McAvaney has called more than 1,000 AFL matches, including 20 grand finals.

He joined Seven’s AFL commentary team ahead of the 1990 season after coming across from Network 10.