A-Leagues broadcast schedule announced for 2022/23 season

A-League

Australian Professional Leagues (APL) and Paramount Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) have today announced a new television broadcast schedule for the 2022-23 A-Leagues season.

Each weekend, two Isuzu UTE A-League Men matches will be broadcast live and free on 10 Bold at 7.45pm on Saturday and every Sunday afternoon at 3:00pm, which represents an increase of 26 additional matches per season.

Every Liberty A-League Women match will be made available live and free on 10 Play, a platform with a 66% female user base, and on Paramount+, offering increased access to support the growth of the women’s game in the lead up to the FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup and more access than ever before for Australian football fans.

Paramount+ will remain the home of all A-Leagues’ matches, men’s and women’s, which are available to stream live as well as mini-matches, highlights and replays. New for this season, the games will be ad-break free, whistle to whistle.

The schedule was developed after the first season of A-Leagues on Paramount ANZ’s platforms, which saw the free-to-air broadcast of the A-Leagues reach more than 6.5 million Australian football fans.

Australian Professional Leagues’ Chief Executive Officer, Danny Townsend said in an APL statement:

“Paramount ANZ is a committed partner in growing football in Australia, and this season’s broadcast schedule is designed to deliver more football to more Australian homes with 26 additional men’s games on 10 Bold and almost 100 women’s games on 10 Play. Football fans will know exactly where and when they will be able to watch A-Leagues football, week in and week out.

“Making every single Liberty A-League Women game available live and free on 10 Play means that every girl in Australia can turn on their device and have sporting role models at their fingertips. With nine months to go until the FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup, we are maximising the opportunity to access the game at every level.”

Beverley McGarvey, Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer, Paramount Australia and New Zealand said via press release:

“Both Paramount ANZ and the APL are guided by and committed to a vision to unite, entertain, and further grow the football audience in Australia, ensuring fans are treated to the best seats in the house.”

“The multi-platform broadcast approach guarantees increased availability and accessibility while acknowledging the changing consumption habits of A-Leagues fans.”

Casey Dumont of Melbourne Victory said via press release:

“When I was growing up, I was rarely able to see professional female athletes on TV. Today, it is completely normal for young girls and boys to watch both men and women at the highest level and know that a pathway to elite sport exists for them. This is a really significant step forward to ensuring greater access to the professional game, especially for young girls”

Josh Risdon of Western United added via press release:

“Last season was one of the most challenging ever with all the disruptions from COVID. This year, the fixture schedule is set, we have 26 more men’s games on 10 Bold and we are going to put on the best show for as many fans as possible every single week. Football really is back.”

The Isuzu UTE A-League Men season will commence on October 7 and run through to April 30, followed by a seven match finals series in May, with a break from November 13 to December 9 for the FIFA World Cup. The Liberty A-League Women fixture will be announced in the coming days.

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania report of AFC Champions League assesses the cost of competition for players and clubs

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania has published a report on key financial findings from the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) flagship club competition, the AFC Champions League (ACL).

The report, AFC Champions League Analysis Report: Counting the cost for players and clubs, was produced alongside sporting intelligence agency Twenty First Group (TFG).

This analysis is in response to the announcement of AFC Champions League Elite (ACLE) commencing in July this year, as revealed by the AFC in December 2022.

Based on TFG’s analysis, insights and feedback from participating players and clubs, the report addresses the feasibility of running ACLE with key factors including on-field quality and competitive balance, attendances and fan engagement, economics for clubs and players, travel and workload, competition design, and football development outcomes.

The research undertaken focusses on the value of introducing ACLE, based on the current operations of the ACL.

“This report analyses the merits and drawbacks of the current AFC Champions League based on various data and the results indicate that the merits do not outweigh the drawbacks for most players and clubs, making it an unsustainable system,” FIFPRO Asia/Oceania Chair Takuya Yamazaki outlines in the report.

“However, this does not mean that the future of football in Asia is bleak. On the contrary, we believe that this economically significant region can lead a discussion for truly sustainable competition formats.”

The report is the most comprehensive public analysis of the ACL and includes recommendations for what the AFC should be implementing.

“For players, the development of competitions is central to their employment conditions and future opportunities. As its primary workforce, the players are determined to play their role to shape a sustainable and innovation-driven future for the football sector in Asia,” Yamazaki added.

World Leagues Forum is involved in representing professional football leagues on a global level. General Secretary Jerome Perlemuter explained that collaboration between all stakeholders in the Asian region would help shape and deliver sustainable competitions.

“FIFPRO’s contribution to shaping the future of Asian continental competitions is most welcome,” Perlemuter said.

“Sustainable football development requires confederations, leagues and players to work together with a common objective to shape high potential continental competitions in a consistent global calendar. In this context, it is important to consider economic, geographical and cultural specificities. We look forward to continuing these discussions with FIFPRO and all stakeholders.”

To see the report in full, you can do so here.

Wellington Phoenix team up with Chinese outfit Tianjin Tiger

Wellington Phoenix have partnered with Chinese Super League team Tianjin Tiger to boost football growth in both nations.

As part of the Wellington Phoenix Tianjin Tiger Sister City Friendship, the clubs have agreed to hold an annual encounter between their men’s first teams.

The inaugural Wellington Phoenix F.C. vs. Tianjin Tiger F.C. Sister City Shield match is set to take place in Tianjin this September, with the second in Wellington next year.

The strategic collaboration was formed after Phoenix general manager David Dome visited Tianjin in September as part of a business delegation headed by Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau.

The club hosted a delegation from Tianjin, and the two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Mayor’s office.

Phoenix general manager David Dome was thrilled with the partnership going through.

“The mayoral delegation to China last year was invaluable and I’m thrilled about this partnership with Tianjin Jinmen Tiger, which will be of benefit to the club on multiple levels,” he said via press release.

“Not only will the men get to play a Chinese Super League side as part of their A-League pre-season each year, but the academy will soon benefit from an influx of footballers from Tianjin.

“We’re looking to grow our academy to have an international component and Tianjin Jinmen have committed to sending some young players to Wellington to attend training camps in July and we’re discussing the possibility of their juniors being part of a new international academy annual programme.

“International students are essential for the secondary and tertiary education sector in Wellington and we are evaluating how an elite international academy focused on football can be part of New Zealand’s international education offering.”

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau added that the city is excited about the opportunity. 

“I’d like to congratulate David Dome and the wider team for the work they’ve done on this MoU,” he stated via press release.

“I’m beyond stoked that the delegation last September has resulted in this MoU between the Wellington Phoenix and Tianjin Jinmen Tiger. 

“The development opportunities for both the clubs will be invaluable to not only football but also our cities.”

The Phoenix are enjoying a successful A-league campaign where they currently sit top of the table 18 games into the season.

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