CHANNEL Nine has revealed a bold plan to repackage its Monday night programming with live AFL matches complete with virtual crowds. Nine's executive director Jeff Browne said Monday night football was likely to underpin its push for a slice of the next AFL broadcast rights deal from 2012, but he regarded it as primarily a television game in which he would compensate for half-full stadiums with virtual crowds. For example, if Etihad Stadium had a crowd of less than 20,000, thousands of spectators could be inserted into empty seats using digital technology. ''I think Monday night is the new franchise for the AFL, and we want it,'' Browne told The Age. ''It's a traditional timeslot in sports all around the world. ''Obviously, being a Monday night, you'd attract less people to the match. But there are some great technological innovations we can put around it to make it a fantastic game for television, and we'd show it live. ''People are being diabolically conservative about this. The fact is people are home on Monday nights and they are out on Friday nights.'' Seven, which televised the Monday night round-seven St Kilda-Carlton match, was moderately satisfied with the ratings but indicated the timeslot would not be a part of its plans. The AFL also remains lukewarm, concerned at fixture problems in spreading each round over four days. The AFL, which hopes to sell its next five-year broadcast package complete with nine weekly home-and-away games for $1 billion, said the virtual audience would solve the TV problem but not the prospect of relatively empty Monday night stadiums.