THE A-LEAGUE will appear on free-to-air television for the first time next season as part of Football Federation Australia’s new four-year $160-million broadcast rights deal, announced in Sydney on Monday.
SBS will enter into a joint partnership with Foxtel that will allow the government broadcaster to show every Friday night A-League match live with all finals matches on a one-hour delay. All of Australia’s World Cup qualifying matches will also be screened on an hour delay.
Foxtel will continue broadcast every game of the A-League live and cover all of the Socceroos matches live over the next four years.
The deal will comprise $148 million in cash in addition to $12 million marketing support. The deal will formally commence on July 1 next year.
FFA chairman Frank Lowy hailed it "bloody good day" for the football community.
"People across Australia will be able to watch top quality international and domestic football featuring the Socceroos and 10-member clubs of the A-League,’’ he said. ‘‘The average yearly licence fee is double the annual fee for the existing broadcasting arrangement. This is great news for Australian football.’’
New FFA chief executive David Gallop said the finalising of the deal proved that football was now ready to become a major player among the four codes.
‘‘This announcement comes at a time when the A-League is showing its true potential as the shop window of Australian football,’’ he said.
The breakdown of the game’s online rights was not revealed in full but the FFA says they have maintained some autonomy over their own content, specifically relating to their own website.