Fox Sports has secured a new deal with Football Federation Australia (FFA) that will see it broadcast A-League games for the next 6 years.
The new deal includes coverage on multiple platforms, including subscription TV, internet, and digital devices.
Fox Sports will continue to broadcast all A-League games live on Foxtel TV, Foxtel Go & Foxtel Play services as well as Caltex Socceroos, Westfield Matildas, Westfield W-League, and Westfield FFA Cup matches as they are currently shown today.
Today’s announcement does not include a deal for Free-to-air Television, that deal will be negotiated separately in the new year, with the FFA looking to delay the process until after a deal for cricket broadcast rights is finalised
DeciderTV can reveal the Nine Network has informed the FFA they will not place a bid for the A-League.
Nine has expressed concern at the competitions low rating performance on SBS, plus the difficulty of inserting advertising into a match that is being simulcast by Fox Sports.
Nine has instead made the decision to save its dollars for the upcoming battle over Cricket rights which will be fiercely competitive with Seven and a Ten/Foxtel partnership expected to make big offers to secure the game.
The FFA will now negotiate with the remaining FTA broadcasters. The winning network will secure simulcast rights for the prime-time Saturday night games, which include local Derby's in Sydney and Melbourne.
Seven and Ten have expressed some interest in securing A-League content, however both networks have made it clear to the FFA that securing cricket is their key priority.
Commencing on July 1, 2017, the new A-League deal totals $346 million which the FFA states is “on a like for like comparison, more than double the current arrangements.”
The new deal excludes the rights to final round Socceroos FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, the AFC Asian Cup and the AFC Champions League which are controlled by the Asian Football Confederation and separately owned by Fox Sports and Foxtel.
The FFA has today stated it expects to make an announcement regarding free to air television, radio, and international rights in the first half of next year.
FFA Chief Executive David Gallop AM today said $3 million a season would be allocated to attracting more marquee players like Tim Cahill to the A-League.
“We have seen the enormous impact that our current marketing and marquee player strategies are having,” he said. “This year TV audiences, crowds and club memberships are all up and it is our intention to re-double our efforts in these areas under the new deal.
“The new arrangements will benefit all areas of football in Australia, but in particular the A-League clubs and players who will receive additional funding as a result of today’s announcement.”
Announcing the deal, FFA Chairman, Steven Lowy AM, said the new deal represented a “quantum leap” for football in Australia.
“Since the transformation of our game began back in 2003, the change in football has been remarkable,” he said.
“Football has always been the World Game but it is now also entrenched as a mainstream Australian sport, with deep connections to Asia, the fastest-growing region in the world.
“Our game has never seen a deal of this magnitude before. This six-year agreement gives us the certainty to continue to implement our strategy to grow the Hyundai A-League and the Westfield W-League and invest more in grassroots football development and the women’s game.
“It also allows us to continue football’s highly successful partnership with Fox Sports, which dates back to 2005. The reach of Fox Sports, Foxtel and News Corp Australia is unrivalled in Australia. They are the perfect partners to promote football which is the world’s biggest sport and the biggest participation sport in this country.”
Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh said: “Foxtel is thrilled to be continuing our long-standing partnership with FFA.
“This doubling of our investment provides the long-term support to further grow the game at both an elite and grassroots level. We strongly believe in football and know our customers share the passion and love for the game as we do.
“I am also pleased to confirm that this new agreement continues our commitment to promoting the game at a grass-roots level, partly through initiatives such as Foxtel All-Stars Tim Cahill Ambitions program.”
Fox Sports CEO, Patrick Delany, said: “Today’s announcement sees Fox Sports remain the home of football in Australia. We have been there from the beginning, and have walked the hard yards, and we will be there to see Australian football reach its full potential. For us it’s a celebration.
“We will serve up more football, across more platforms, live, ad break free during play and in high definition. The way it should be.
“Today’s deal sees Fox Sports home to every major Australian football code until 2020. That’s your team, every round live, no compromises."
Co-Editor of DeciderTV.com - Kevin Perry is an experienced media commentator focused on TV Production, Consumer Tech, SVOD & Sports Broadcasting.
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