This is gonna stir up some mixed feelings from people who both love football and dislike giving money to anything owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Domestic football in Australia will remain on its current home of Fox Sports for at least the next six years, after the FFA officially unveiled a mammoth new broadcast rights agreement with cable overlord Foxtel.
The long-suspected deal was reached with parters Fox Sports, Foxtel, and News Corp Australia to keep broadcasting every game of the A-League live on Fox Sports, as well as on supplementary services Foxtel GO and Foxtel Play.
The deal also sees the current Socceroos, Matildas, W-League, and FFA Cup fixtures broadcast in the same way that they are today.
The new broadcast rights agreement, which comes into effect from July 1st next year, is worth $346million to the controlling body of the game in the country, and is more than double the current worth of the current agreement.
Largely, it’s a stay-the-course deal that simply repeats the current broadcast agreement but with more money now pouring into the game.
Where things get slightly more interesting is the separate, yet-to-be-negotiated deal that the FFA hopes to get done in the new year, which would potentially see a game of the A-League broadcast on free-to-air TV on Saturday night in prime time for the first time in the league’s history.
FFA Chairman Steven Lowy called the agreement a “quantum leap” forward for the game in Australia.
“Since the transformation of our game began back in 2003, the change in football has been remarkable.”
“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.”
“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.”
The deal comes during a tumultuous time for Foxtel, which faced severe backlash from customers over allowing the broadcast rights to the English Premier League lapse, coupled with a recent announcement that the cost of their sports package will increase by 16% early next year. This, despite refusing to confirm whether the company would remove the $10 fee for HD channels.
Week 12 of the current A-League season kicks off Friday night with a clash between Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Photo: Robert Cianflone/Getty.