Football NSW & QLD secure landmark OTT streaming service for NPL

Football NSW have confirmed there will be a new way for fans from both New South Wales and Queensland to watch games with the roll out of a brand new streaming service.

For details, please see the media release by Football NSW Media Manager Mark Stavroulakis:

SYDNEY

Friday 13th March

Fans of National Premier Leagues NSW have an exciting new destination to catch the action with Football NSW and Football Queensland today launching a landmark streaming service in partnership with leading sports media and data agency Sportradar. 

The new NPL.TV platform will broadcast more than 1,000 free, live and on-demand games throughout the 2020 season, with thrilling talent, goals and drama from the NPL Men’s and Women’s competitions becoming more accessible than ever. 

Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge said: ”NPL fans are among the most passionate in Australia and NPL.TV will provide fans with a feast of live games, replays and highlights each week. The success of our live broadcasts over the past four seasons has seen increased interest and support for our NPL NSW competitions and by introducing the new service we will make our competitions more accessible to supporters in Australia and around the world.

Football NSW Head Of Commercial Brian Meinrath said,“Our partnership with Football Queensland and Sportradar is a defining moment for the National Premier Leagues.  NPL.TV provides us with the means to control the delivery of the NPL to our fans and monitor how they interact with our content..  By aggregating content on the one platform, it gives us a huge opportunity to present existing fans with superior live and on-demand content as well as showcase our leagues to a new and expanding audience.”

The new OTT service is compatible with Chromecast and Airplay, allowing content to be streamed from mobile devices to television screens.

NPL.TV is free to Australian-based fans and will initially be available through all web browsers, with iOS and Android apps available soon. 

Subscribers can also upgrade to a ‘premium’ Full HD offering for a small monthly charge. 

The move from social media streaming to Sportradar’s OTT platform enables Football NSW to control the content, access deeper, data-driven insights into viewer behaviour and to tell more engaging stories to fans. 

David Edwards, Director of Sports Media and Partnerships, Oceania, Sportradar, said,“Today’s partnership agreement is the first-of-its-kind in the region and we’re proud to have jointly developed the OTT platform with Football NSW & Football Queensland. 

“Competitions are thriving across various footballing codes in Australia at the moment, and we’re seeing an increasing demand from both state-based and national sporting federations in establishing direct-to-consumer streaming platforms.  

“Niche competitions suit the OTT distribution model by allowing rights holders to take control of their assets and develop a direct relationship with their fans on their own terms. We look forward to helping National Premier Leagues competitions increase digital revenues and supercharge their fan engagement through our unique, data-driven approach to OTT.”

Football fans will be able to begin accessing live streams, highlights and full match replays at NPL.TV from Friday, 20 March. 

Stay tuned for more information on how to access the NPL.TV platform. 

ENDS

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Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

FC Barcelona and EBC Financial Group confirm collaboration

FC Barcelona has broadened its presence in the foreign exchange industry by partnering with EBC Financial Group (EBC).

This collaboration spans 3.5 years establishing the financial institution as FC Barcelona’s Official Partner in Foreign Exchange. The partnership encompasses regions such as APAC, LATAM, the Middle East, and Africa.

This collaboration signifies a momentous achievement for EBC, as it aligns the brand with FC Barcelona’s esteemed legacy and worldwide influence. Through this exclusive arrangement, EBC gains the exceptional privilege to conduct specialized business operations within the foreign exchange sector.

The partnership encompasses various services such as foreign exchange transactions, trading, brokering (including CFDs), and advisory services. Additionally, it presents an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen FC Barcelona’s connection with its partners, supporters, and Culers in these regions, while advancing its global expansion strategy through strategic partnerships in diverse sectors.

Marketing Area Vice President at FC Barcelona, Juli Guiu, released a statement regarding this partnership.

“This partnership coincides with FC Barcelona’s global expansion plan in recent years, I’m sure that this will help the Club open up a wealth of opportunities in the financial sector through these 3.5 years of partnership with the well-renowned EBC Financial Group.

“With the untapped potentials we see in the Asia Pacific region, as well as the growing economies in South & Central America, Mexico, Africa, and Middle East, we’re excited to build more connections with brands, partners, supporters and Culers in these regions.”

APAC Director of Operations at EBC Financial Group, Samuel Hertz, also added a statement for this collaboration.

“Even though EBC is only four years old, we’ve only grown because we demand the best from ourselves and the industry. We’ve delved deep into FC Barcelona’s storied history, learning from their culture of mentorship where the experienced guide the new, and the new inspire the younger, creating a continuum of growth and excellence.

“This isn’t just a partnership; it’s a shared journey towards greatness, embodying a culture where success is not just about winning but about fostering values, nurturing talent, and contributing positively to society. We’re inspired by Barca’s way of doing things, their culture where veterans nurture newcomers, passing on wisdom and passion.”

Operating from strategically positioned offices in key financial hubs including London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, the Cayman Islands, Singapore, Bangkok, Limassol, and beyond, EBC serves a varied clientele comprising retail, professional, and institutional investors across the globe.

Assessing the path of A-League Women to become full-time

To ensure there is a deep-rooted legacy from the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the A-League Women becoming a full-time profession should be a matter of importance to develop the Australian game.

As the competition improves, the expectations on individual players increases, whereas the careers provided to them are not yet adequate for most players to financially support themselves merely through football.

Until the players are provided with full-time year-round employment structure, majority of the sportswomen are in the firing line juggling the physical and mental aspects of their commitments to football and part-time employment, of which three in five of those players work outside of football.

This topic of discussion was raised back in February during a two-day women’s football congress that was hosted by the players’ union, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA).

Under the 2021-2026 A-Leagues Collective Bargaining Agreement, the base limit was $20,608 in 2022-23 season for a 29-week contract for the ALW, with most of the players earned at or close to the minimum that season.

However, the remuneration for the past season rose to $25,000, which for the very first time it was transformed to a full home-and-away schedule, the current athletes are under contract for a 22 round regular season for 35 weeks, along with four extra weeks for finals.

Former Matilda and PFA executive member Elise Kellond-Knight expressed her opinion on this matter.

“We need aspirational leaders. We don’t need a long-term, 10-year strategy to get to full-time professionalism. Like, this is 2024. We need it tomorrow. We needed it yesterday,” she said.

“It’s important that the girls understand where we’ve come from and how much hard work we’ve had to do. Things don’t get handed to female athletes you have to stand up, you have to ask for it, you have to fight for it.

“It’s really important that we embed that philosophy in the next generation to come.”

In contrast to the A-League Men, just 15 percent had some type of job outside of their football commitments, 93 percent of those individuals worked less than 10 hours on a weekly basis.

The survey comments portray an evocative of the not so sustainable football/work/life balance the individuals have to commit to:

“I don’t want to feel like I have to work between seasons (for example: most of us do not get paid in the off season). It is a lot to juggle, especially going away for national team camps and the immense amount of traveling. I feel this weight on my shoulders from my work obligations.”

“If my work and football commitments clash, I am expected by my coach to skip work (where I get paid more and am respected more), and I am expected by my boss to skip soccer, and neither care if you suffer financially or reputation wise for it.”

According to the survey, it was made aware that all but three clubs had failed to provide players the desired two-month in advance training calendar as well as the seven day notice period, which makes matters even more complicated for those coping with various jobs to plan in advance.

The PFA admit changes such as this won’t occur overnight, generally speaking, to implement full-time professional contracts is the righteous thing to do for women players, but as the PFA report put it “should also be seen as an investment, not a cost.”

The full-time pay is such a significant goal for women’s football in this country, but the clubs can ease their path to that goal and can do a whole lot more to make sure those changes are modified sooner rather than later.

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