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World first streaming service announced for women’s football

Swedish sports rights agency Spring Media has teamed up with UK-based Red Bee Media to launch the world’s first global over-the-top (OTT) streaming service for women’s football.

The service will be called ‘Wnited’, with plans to launch the platform in the first quarter of 2020.

At this stage no rights deals have been formally announced, however two top tier leagues have signed up with the service. Other leagues across Europe, Asia and the Americas are likely to be confirmed before the service is launched. National team matches are also scheduled to be on the platform.

Could this include our W-League and Matildas? Time will tell.

Consumers will have the option to either sign up to the service for free but endure advertising, or pay a subscription fee to go ad-free.

Over 300 live games will be shown on the platform, as well as a variety of on demand content including documentaries and highlights.

Chief executive of Spring Media, Tobias Osmund claimed: “Women’s football has reached a turning point when it comes to both viewership and media interest and we believe we’re just at the beginning of a steep growth curve.

“We are now launching a streaming service with access to some of the world’s best women’s football content and with the Red Bee OTT platform we are sure to deliver the highest quality viewing experience to football fans as they visit the new home of women’s football.”

Chief executive of Red Bee, Steve Nylund added: “This is a perfect example of how our managed OTT services can and should be used, reaching global audiences with high quality ultra-low latency live feeds and on-demand content, creating the best possible viewing experiences on any device.”

The news comes days after FIFA announced that this year’s Women’s World Cup was viewed by a record 1.12 billion people across various platforms.

Australian Indigenous Football Championships held in Queensland

The 2019 Australian Indigenous Football Championships (AIFC) were held this past weekend at the Moreton Bay Sports Complex in Queensland.

Players from around the country travelled to compete in the AIFC, with some coming from as far away as Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

This was the second edition of the tournament after last year’s success, giving more Indigenous players the chance to showcase their talent.

A youth competition was introduced this year, where eight teams competed with the Platypus side defeating the Koalas in the youth Grand Final.

In the men’s Grand Final, the Brisbane Warrigals and Maliyans United played out a 1-1 draw in regulation time. The contest would be decided by a penalty shootout, which Brisbane won to claim the men’s AIFC title.

Maliyans United were also involved in the women’s Grand Final, defeating NQ Brolgas 6-0 to win the tournament.

A game between the Indigenous Football community representative team and the QLD Police Service also took place, with the match played in good spirit.

For the first time, all Semi Finals and Grand Finals were livestreamed by SBS with Craig Foster in attendance on Saturday. Foster commentated these matches, as well as meeting with those at the tournament. The games were simultaneously streamed on the NITV Facebook page.

Murray Bird, Football Queensland (FQ) General Manager of Operations, Compliance and Game Development claimed the event was extremely important for football in Australia.

“Football Queensland is extremely proud to be supporting the Australian Indigenous Football Championships in the event’s second year,” Bird said.

“The tournament is a fantastic event for football in our country.

“We look forward to seeing the Australian Indigenous Football Championships continue to grow in the coming years.”

 

Matildas draw record attendance in victory against Chile

Mere days after the huge announcement of equal pay between the Matildas and the Socceroos, the women have set another benchmark.

In their 2-1 win over Chile at the weekend, they drew the highest ever attendance for a women’s international match in Australian history.

20,029 fans flocked to the newly constructed Bankwest Stadium in Sydney to see Sam Kerr strut her stuff, bagging two goals as she lead her side to victory again.

After a disappointing few months following their early elimination from the Women’s World Cup earlier this year, the Matildas are well on their way to re-affirming their position as one of Australia’s strongest internationally represented teams.

The unceremonious sacking of Alen Stajcic also threw a major spanner in the works prior to the World Cup.

But Ante Milicic has done a fine job thus far. Success has seemed to follow the Matildas everywhere since that loss to Norway and this is not limited to on field performance.

The recent announcement of the equal pay agreement clearly is a landmark announcement and will hopefully spur the team on for the foreseeable future.

As we iterated in our article last week, let’s hope we can become the catalyst for a plethora of other countries to follow suit.

But today, the Matildas created another day to remember.

Being their first professional encounter following France, they had the fire in their bellies to do our country proud.

They certainly did that.

They’ve been an inspiration to so many people already, many of whom will hopefully be the next wave of aspiring superstars, both male and female.

With the equal pay agreement and more proof that people genuinely love watching them play at home, nothing seems to be able to stop them now.

And quite frankly, we couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.

 

 

AusPlay survey reveals most active states and territories

Sport Australia’s latest AusPlay survey has shed some light on how people engage with sport and physical activity across the country, with the Australian Capital Territory posting some impressive results.

It was found that the ACT had the most active adults and during the course of 2018/19, 87.8 per cent of those from Canberra aged 15 or over participated in sport or physical activity at least once a week, which is more than the national rate of 82.3 per cent.

Of the Canberran adults that engaged in physical activity, more than two-thirds of those (69.1 per cent) participated at least three times a week.

Sport Australia CEO Kate Palmer spoke about AusPlay as the survey which is completed by 20,000 Australians each year.

“The latest AusPlay results show that almost 13 million Australians (62.9 per cent) aged 15 or over participate in sport or physical activity at least three times a week. Almost 60 per cent of Australian children are active at least once a week in organised activities outside school,” she said.

“We want to see that increase because we know the physical, mental and social benefits that being active provides.

“Sport Australia’s national Find Your 30 campaign encourages all Australians to get active for at least 30 minutes every day. Of course, the recommended activity levels for children are one hour a day, so that may be 30 minutes at school and 30 minutes at home.

“The Find Your 30 campaign is complemented by a suite of programs that encourages everyone to be active for life, from children to older Australians.

“The Australian Government’s national sport plan, Sport 2030, has set a long term goal for Australia to become the world’s most active and healthy nation. We have accomplished a lot so far, but there is far more to do if we are to continue to get Australia moving and achieve our vision.

“Sport Australia works hand in glove with sporting organisations and physical activity providers across the country to drive participation. No matter what state or territory you live in, there are endless options to be active. The key is finding something that you enjoy.”

On a broader scale, Victoria has the highest proportion of tennis players, New South Wales in swimming, Northern Territory in yoga, South Australia in netball, Western Australia in hockey, Tasmania in recreational walking, Queensland in rugby league and the ACT in football – showcasing the wide variety of sports people love.

AusPlay reveal that recreational walking continues to be the most popular activity across the nation, with almost nine million Australian adults taking part.

For more information about the survey results, you can find it here: https://www.sportaus.gov.au/media_centre/news/australias-most-active-states-and-territories-revealed

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