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Australian football hits the broadcast market: Where will the rights land?

Crunch time is fast approaching for Football Australia and the APL, with new broadcast deals set to be struck independently in the coming weeks.

Football Australia have regained the broadcast rights to all Socceroos and Matildas internationals, Asian Cup qualifiers and World Cup qualifiers according to the SMH, and are now looking to on-sell to broadcasters.

“There are a lot of national team games because of the backlog of the calendar in the lead-up to Qatar 2022 and Australia and New Zealand 2023. We will go to market with even more national team games than what we have had in the past and I think that is a very attractive market in this competitive environment that we have in broadcast today,” FFA CEO James Johnson told SMH.

The APL are also in the process of negotiating a new TV deal for the A-League and W-League which will look to secure the future of the professional game in Australia.

Whilst there will likely be a free-to-air component for each deal, here are the companies that may stump up the majority of the cash:

Stan Sport

Stan Sport are a relative newcomer to the sport media rights landscape in Australia. They recently secured the rights to showcase Super Rugby matches on their platform, with Rugby Australia also signing a free-to-air deal with Channel Nine, who are owners of the streaming service.

A similar type of deal may be attractive to the APL or Football Australia, as Channel Nine also owns major newspapers across the country such as The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

A positive media narrative is something the game is crying out for after years of negativity, and a partnership with Stan and Channel Nine should guarantee an increase in media visibility for Australian Football across a range of channels.

Stan is interested, with a need to add to their low portfolio of sport at the moment, as they look to continue to build up their Stan Sport add-on service.

Fox Sports/Kayo

Fox Sports have had the broadcast rights for the A-League since the competition’s inception and shown some of the Socceroos’ and Matildas’ biggest moments over the past 15 years.

Their current on-air talent includes the likes of Mark Bosnich, Archie Thompson, Robbie Slater and Robbie Cornthwaite.

Fox also has the Australian rights to the Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, English Championship and more across their platforms.

Over the past few years Fox have been disappointed with the linear TV ratings of the A-League and have axed magazine shows,  as well as holding back on overall production values for their broadcasts.

Despite this, the company is still interested in brokering a new deal, but there are question marks around their coverage.

Constant technical issues have plagued the broadcast of W-League games this season on Fox and they continue to focus the majority of their energy and investment around NRL, AFL and Cricket.

Optus Sport

As of February 2021, Optus Sport had 868,000 subscribers to their service.

The streaming platform currently have the Australian rights to the English Premier League, the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, FA Women’s Super League, J League, Euro 2021, Copa America 2021, J League and more.

Current on-air talent includes the likes of John Aloisi, Michael Bridges, Mark Schwarzer and Kevin Muscat.

The company have produced a range of different programs that go along with their high-quality production of pre-and post-game shows for the UEFA Champions League and English Premier League. This includes the Football Belongs podcast and Women’s Football Oz Style.

Optus Sport are well within its rights to say they are the home of football in Australia; however, the addition of A-League/W-League and Socceroos/Matildas content rights will leave no doubt.

Sports Flick

The Sydney based start-up streaming service have a range of unique content on their platform including the rights to the UEFA Women’s Champions League and the K-League. They have reportedly done a deal that has seen them grab the UEFA Champions League rights off Optus Sport from next season.

Will they look to Australian football properties for more content?

Others: DAZN, Amazon

Let us know where you want to see the rights end up, join the conversation on Twitter @Soccersceneau.

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Football West announces ‘A’ Licence coaching courses in Perth

Football West has announced the upcoming schedule of Football Australia/AFC ‘A’ Licence Courses to be held in Perth.

The course is for coaches already holding an accredited Football Australia/AFC ‘B’ Licence or recognised equivalent qualification.

The course sets out to educate candidates 18 years of age and older with a specific focus on the 11v11 aspects of the game. Furthermore, the course gives coaches a chance to apply the National Curriculum holistically to develop semi-professional, State, and Institute/Academy and National Youth League teams.

In addition, the course is set to allow coaches to understand and utilise the Coach Expertise Model, in the improvement of the Performance Phase, Building Blocks and development of the key coaching competencies of Training, Match and Management.

The focus of the coaching competency on the ‘A’ Licence is on the collective tactical aspect of teaching players how to apply the Principles of Play.

This is usually referred to as ‘systems of play’ and/or a ‘style of play’ and involves teaching players in ’the big picture’. There is more emphasis on analysing effective ways of attacking and defending and teaching player behaviours in practices involving the whole squad and in games ranging from 9v9 to 11v11.

The ‘A’ Diploma is a minimum of 180 hours in duration and will be delivered mostly in blocks of 2-3 or 4 days, online and face to face over a period of 12 months.

The first two days will cover the Strength and Conditioning component of the course. This will be held on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November 2022 at Perth Soccer Club, Dorrien Gardens, Lawley Street, from 9am to 5pm. The remaining venues are to be confirmed.

Registrations can be made here.

Northern NSW Football appoint Ryan Doidge in new Talented Player and Coach Development role

NNSWF

Northern NSW Football has announced Ryan Doidge as the appointment to the new position of Talented Player and Coach Development Manager.

Doidge is accredited by Asian Football Confederation and Football Australia to deliver B and C advance coach accreditation courses and has earned an AFC A coaching licence.

The role reports to NNSWF Head of Football Development Peter Haynes, with Doidge to oversee the talented player pathway and all coach education across northern NSW. The extensive recruitment process also included a practical assessment.

Doidge has held previous roles with New York Red Bulls, Western Sydney Wanderers, North Shore Mariners, Northbridge Bulls and Dee Why FC – and will now transition to a leading role with a member federation. Doidge has also completed a Bachelor of Science in Sport, Health, Exercise Science and Coaching.

Talented Player and Coach Development Administrator Rebecca Nee will support Doidge in the role from an administrative perspective.

Doidge began on July 7, with regional visits and a review of the Junior Development League his first priorities.

Doidge identified that his key responsibility would be to improve opportunities for players and coaches within the region.

“A key focus for me will be to provide clear pathways into the A-League Men’s, A-League Women’s and national teams set ups while also developing our own coaches within our region and increase the number of qualified coaches,” Doidge said in a statement to Northern NSW Football.

“I firmly believe that in being able to deliver quality advanced licences and coach support we can improve our coaches and in turn create a better environment for our players.

“I hope to be able to create a reputation among coaches and players in our area that the support we can provide to these stakeholders is world class. Making coach support accessible for all coaches and providing opportunities to learn, grow and develop will be at the forefront of our plan.

“I am looking forward to working hard to provide opportunities for both coaches and players for the betterment of the game that we love. I am truly passionate about development and I hope that comes across to those that I work with over the coming years.”

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