Has football become too expensive to stream in Australia?

As the European Championships come to an end this Monday morning (AEST), with the English playing the Italians, club football from around the world will soon be back on the agenda for football fans across Australia.

This forthcoming season, however, Australian audiences will find their favourite football content in different locations.

New streaming services have entered the market and existing ones have stepped up their appetite for football broadcasting rights, giving the consumer more choices, but potentially a bigger hit to their wallets.

For example, whilst the EPL will remain on Optus Sport for next season at $14.99 a month, the telco has lost the rights to show the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and other UEFA associated club tournaments to relatively new streaming service Stan Sport.

Stan acting CEO, Martin Kugeler, said at the announcement of the three-year-deal: “Since Stan Sport launched in February, we have been delighted with the way Australians have taken up the service.

“The addition of the UEFA Club Competitions, including the UEFA Champions League, represents a unique strategic opportunity that will continue the momentum for Stan Sport and aligns directly with the Nine group sports strategy.

“Featuring the most outstanding players in the sport, the UEFA Club Competitions bring together the best clubs for more than 400 matches of world-class football.

“We can’t wait to showcase the most prestigious club football tournaments in the world and we thank UEFA for its trust in Stan to deliver their iconic football products to Australia.”

Stan Sport costs customers a minimum of $20 a month, meaning Australian football fans must now pay $35 a month to watch the Champions League and EPL across the two services, a jump of $20 a month on previous rates.

Alongside this, the A-League, W-League, FFA Cup, Socceroos and Matildas matches will not be shown on Foxtel’s Kayo Sports service, with those rights migrating to Network 10 and Paramount + in August, a brand-new streaming platform which will cost fans $8.99 a month.

Beverley McGarvey, Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President at ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand, said at the time of the agreement with FA: “Today marks a new era for Australian football. This landmark agreement gives all Australians access to more football than ever before.

“We are thrilled to partner with Football Australia and are proud to provide National Teams football and the FFA Cup unprecedented reach and exposure across our many platforms including on Network 10 and our new streaming service Paramount+.

“We will be showcasing all Socceroos, Westfield Matildas and FFA Cup matches, which not only complements our recently announced rights deal to broadcast every A-League and Westfield W-League match but reinforces our commitment to football in this country.”

Kayo Sports still has the rights to a suite of BEIN Sports content which includes the Serie A, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Scottish Championship, for which they charge $25 a month (although you can subscribe to BEIN directly for $20 a month).

Throw in Sports Flick for $14.99 a month, which showcases some of our local stars in leagues such as the K-League and Chinese Super League, being a football fan in Australia is becoming more and more of an expensive proposition.

The fragmentation of the football rights in Australia means if you want to subscribe to watch all of the football content on these streaming services, it will cost you a minimum of around $80 a month.

Of course, there are bundled deals with broadband connections which may cheapen the price of some these services, but that depends on an individual’s setup.

With millions of Australians also already signing up to entertainment services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon, many will find it hard to justify the price of all of these platforms for the world game – as limits will be reached.

Therefore, certain leagues and football content are likely to be prioritised by certain consumers, which may leave some services behind in the competitive marketplace.

Hypothetically, Paramount + could be a first-choice priority for many football fans, as it is cheaper than the other services, offers more than just sport on their platform and is the only place to watch all of the A-League, W-League and national teams.

But other fans can’t go without the EPL on a weekly basis, so Optus Sport will be their default service.

What do you think? Has football, overall, become too expensive to watch in Australia?

Get in touch with us via our social channels and let us know which services you will be keeping, signing up for, or dropping in the coming weeks.

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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 Australia targeting new leadership appointments

Football Australia are strategically commencing a global search to fill four newly established leadership roles within its National Teams’ set-up.

Reporting into Head of National Teams, Gary Moretti, the positions include:

General Manager – Women’s National Teams

General Manager – Men’s National Teams

General Manager – Football Data & Analysis

General Manager – High Performance.

The FA are underscoring its commitment on delivering national team excellence and believe these roles will be pivotal in the ongoing improvement of the game in Australia at the professional level.

Each role is essential for the development, management and the long-term success of all high performance and national team programs and initiatives in both the men’s and women’s teams.

Under Moretti’s leadership, Football Australia’s National Teams will operate concurrently with the oversight of the governing body’s Technical Department, headed by Chief Football Officer Ernie Merrick. Later this month, they will reveal a new 10-year Technical Strategy for Australian Football.

Upon announcing these additions to the National Teams structure, Football Australia CEO, James Johnson explained the additions to the National Team structure and what it means for the future.

“The realignment and increased number of specialised resources for our senior and youth national teams stem from a comprehensive internal review of our current high performance structure when benchmarked against leading football and sporting organisations globally,” he said in a statement.

“We are a football first organisation, and this heightened focus and investment in our national teams is a reflection of our ambition. These new roles are designed to ensure everything possible is being done to deliver our strategic goal of being a leading football nation within the Asian Football Confederation and that all ages groups, men’s and women’s, are qualifying for every FIFA senior and youth World Cup.”

The recruitment process will be thorough and will be conducted by specialist recruitment firms to secure the most qualified candidates for these crucial roles.

It’s a great proactive approach by the FA to ensure the future of the national teams is consistently improving and matching Asia’s best such as Japan and South Korea who have fantastic national team structures in place.

Details of all positions will be available on the Football Australia website from Tuesday, 14 May 2024.

Football Australia celebrates diversity for Harmony Week

Football Australia have directed the spotlight towards the nation’s diversity, celebrating Australia’s rich plethora of communities throughout the 2024 edition of Harmony Week.

Funded and endorsed by the Australian Sports Commission, the aim of the event is to build a connection with culturally and linguistically diverse newly arrived migrants, ranging between the ages of 5 to 18, through the sport of football.

The week showcased the importance of respect, inclusiveness and sense of belonging amongst everyone.

Victoria were the state in particular whom relished the harmony week on a football front. Three respective diverse communities across Manor Lakes, Croydon and Dandenong were involved in the celebration of diverse culture.

Those Melbournian suburbs include Asian, African and Middle Eastern communities in whom recently arrived to Australia as migrants. Given that football is the primary sport across each of those country’s, members of those experiencing life in Australia for the first time were able to be involved in something which reminds them of home.

Members of those communities had the chance to be involved within football related activities allowing them to showcase their flair and ability.

Those in whom had previously participated within the sport had the opportunity to participate in more advanced activities, while beginners were offered to participate in clinics while being provided information about Miniroos programs.

The events also allowed for new or existing players to seek the possibility of participating at a club level, junior or senior at clubs within close proximity of the suburbs listed.

Dandenong Primary School Teacher, Leanne Skaftouros talked about there being no barrier when playing football.

“There is no barrier, no language barrier. It doesn’t matter if I don’t know your language, you don’t know my language, we can get out and play a game of soccer, which is just amazing,” she said via press release.

Endeavour Youth Australia CEO Mohammad Semra mentioned the importance of community involvement for migrants through the sport of football.

“It gives young people access to club football and also different opportunities to succeed,” he said via press release.

The community event was a collaborative effort, the Wyndham Council alongside Endeavour Youth and migrant information centre were the primary pillars called upon to make the event a success.

FA understand the significance of establishing connections amongst new members of a community, that is the brilliance of Football. The globalisation of the sport allows for these inclusive events to occur. It’s an aspect of Australian culture in which can bring an abundance of people together, all while unifying and inspiring them along the journey.

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