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 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 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.
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.
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.