Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced a new set of broadcast arrangements that will provide unprecedented coverage and audience reach for the Qantas Socceroos and Hyundai A-League.
The four-year agreements with partners FOX SPORTS, Foxtel and SBS will provide Australian viewers with comprehensive, world-class coverage on multiple platforms, including subscription TV, free-to-air TV, internet and digital devices.
FFA Chairman, Frank Lowy AC, has hailed the new arrangements as the most valuable and important commercial agreements in Australian football’s history.
“FFA has been building the foundations for sustained growth with the success of the Qantas Socceroos, the consolidation of the Hyundai A-League and the popularity of our beautiful game with 1.7 million participants at the grassroots,” Mr Lowy said.
“Today, the new broadcast arrangements will give FFA an unprecedented opportunity to implement its strategic plans for Australian football.
“There’s never been any doubt that the game has a bright future in this nation, but today the football family can take comfort from the huge vote of confidence from our broadcast partners.
“FOX SPORTS, Foxtel and SBS are broadcasters who know football and care about the game. They will all be important partners in the exciting growth in the years ahead.”
Commencing from 1 July 2013, the new set of arrangements will deliver a total economic value of $160 million to Australian football. The economic value consists of $148 million in cash and $12 million in marketing support.
The average yearly licence fee for these broadcast arrangements is double the annual fee of the existing broadcast arrangements.
A renewed partnership with FOX SPORTS involving coverage of the Qantas Socceroos and Hyundai A-League is the key pillar of the new arrangements.
FOX SPORTS will provide exclusively live coverage of all Socceroos matches until 30 June 2017.
FOX SPORTS will continue as the primary broadcaster of Australia’s premier club football competition the Hyundai A-League, providing live coverage of all regular season and finals matches until 30 June 2017.
In addition, FOX SPORTS will be the Australian rights holder of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015, broadcasting exclusively live coverage of the 32-match tournament.
FOX SPORTS CEO, Patrick Delany, said the new broadcast agreement secures football’s future as one of the giants of summer on Foxtel.
“We see football as an essential part of the FOX SPORTS summer offering and our vision, together with Foxtel and FFA, is for football to become part of Australia’s summer fabric, whether it’s going to watch a Hyundai A-League game or kicking the ball around in a park or on the beach,” Delany said.
“Our investment in the game is unparalleled - $160 million over the past eight years - we love the game, and we’ll continue to deliver the most comprehensive and entertaining coverage for fans through our live and high definition coverage of the Qantas Socceroos, Hyundai A-League, and Barclays Premier League, plus our weekly magazine lineup of Kick Off, Matchday Saturday and Sunday Shootout,” he said.
“The Hyundai A-League is one of the most interesting and emerging competitions in Australian sport. It is wholesome family entertainment and it is attracting interest like never before. We have tremendous optimism for the future of football in Australia and are really excited to work with the FFA and Foxtel to push the game into an even stronger position.”
The renewal of the FOX SPORTS and FFA partnership will extend the relationship to 12 continuous years.
FFA CEO David Gallop has hailed FOX SPORTS for its commitment to growth and investment in Australian football.
“Without the capital investment and promotional support of FOX SPORTS, football would not be in the healthy position it finds itself in today,” Mr Gallop said.
“In 2005, FOX SPORTS joined forces with football to help rebuild the professional game in Australia. That single decision helped change the destiny of football in this nation.”
Under the new arrangements, SBS will provide free-to-air coverage on a one-hour delay of all Qantas Socceroos FIFA World Cup qualification matches played in Australia and overseas from now until 2017.
SBS has provided free-to-air coverage of the Qantas Socceroos’ past two 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian qualification matches against Jordan (11 September) and Iraq (16 October) under interim arrangements.
Commencing in the 2013/14 season, SBS will provide live free-to-air coverage of the Friday Night Hyundai A-League regular season match and a one-hour delay free-to-air coverage of all finals matches.
SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said SBS was proud to be part of a partnership that would give all Australians access to the Hyundai A-League and Qantas Socceroos.
“SBS has always championed the sports which unite communities and the world and with football being the world’s biggest game it is fitting that the Hyundai A-League and Qantas Socceroos will now have a free-to-air presence on SBS, building on our strong football pedigree,” Ebeid said.
“This deal is exciting news for football fans across the country and will give all Australians access to matches like never before.
“It’s a partnership which will help take the domestic game in Australia to the next level and SBS is excited to be working with the FFA and FOX SPORTS to help grow the game.
“Broadcast of the Socceroos will complement SBS’s FIFA World Cup coverage which SBS has the rights to all editions up to and including 2022.”
Mr Gallop has warmly welcomed SBS as another important partner in the growth story of Australian football.
“SBS will significantly extend the audience reach of our major games for the Qantas Socceroos and in the Hyundai A-League, with benefits for our fans, clubs and sponsors,” he said.
“The network has a long history of covering Australian football and today we open a new and exciting chapter together.”
Mr Gallop also welcomed Foxtel’s formal partnership with FFA in providing sponsorship and promotional support during the upcoming contract period.
“Foxtel recognises the value of football and its broad and diverse demographic family. The association will support Foxtel’s broad portfolio of football content,” he said.
Foxtel CEO, Richard Freudenstein, said that in 2005 Foxtel had backed FOX SPORTS and FFA to build a new vision for football and its broadcast in Australia.
“Eight years later we are seeing the fruits of a new summer sport with great young talent and international superstars - its young, cool and gathering interest from Australian families like never before,” Freudenstein said.
“It is our pleasure to again back FOX SPORTS and FFA with the addition of a new sponsorship aimed at grassroots football in Australia.”