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FFA agrees new broadcast deal with A-League 2020/21 season set for winter finish
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced a new broadcast deal with Fox Sports that will ensure the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season will resume on 16th July.
Valued at $32 million, down from the current deal worth almost $60 million per year, the deal will also see the ABC share the rights to broadcast Matildas and Socceroos games as well as one A-League and Westfield W-League match per week.
The agreement will run through to the end of July 2021, with Australia’s final four FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round 2 Asian Qualifiers to be shown on the pay-TV network, as well as the A-League 2020/21 and Westfield W-League 2020/21 seasons.
The deal’s coverage of the 2020/21 seasons will see both competitions rescheduled so that they start in December and finish in July.
The rescheduling of the competitions will see it align more closely with state-level competitions while also aligning with the next FIFA World Cup in Qatar – scheduled to be held from 21st November to Sunday 18th December 2022.
The current A-League season has been on hold since March because of the Coronavirus pandemic but, restarting from the middle of this month it will run until the end of August.
The ABC has reported that thee FFA is satisfied with the new deal despite the significant price drop, given the current uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, crowds and staging of matches.
Commenting on the new deal, FFA Chief Executive, James Johnson (pictured below) advised that he values the added certainty the deal provides for the game, stating “the pandemic has created uncertainty and accelerated disruption to the sports media sector and to football here in Australia and abroad – this new agreement adjusts to this new reality, secures the immediate future of football in Australia and provides flexibility for FFA to lay a foundation to transition into a new world for Australian professional football.
“The deal will see the professional game - for women and men - reactivated and ensures that football is at the heart of all our thinking in the future.
“It will also provide immediate certainty for clubs, players, coaches, officials and, most importantly, fans, for the remainder of the current Hyundai A-League season, as well as the next.
“We are equally as pleased to have secured the next season for the Westfield W-League to ensure we can continue to drive interest and growth in women’s football in Australia.”
Explaining that the agreement means the FFA Cup will not be broadcast on the paid-TV network and the FFA will consider new arrangements for the national cup competition, Johnson added “the shift in the timing of the next A-League season is a strategic decision to enhance the alignment of our top tier professional men’s league with the grassroots playing season of the largest community sport in the country.
“There are numerous benefits to this, including better aligning the competition pyramid of Australian football to facilitate enhanced football outcomes like a modern domestic transfer system, and enabling deeper engagement with our vast grassroots football community at the precise time our many participants are most engaged in our great game.
“Despite challenging times, this deal will help us continue the process of transforming our professional leagues and move the sport towards an exciting future.
“The FFA Cup is unique in the Australian sporting landscape and connects the grassroots and National Premier Leagues with the Hyundai A-League.
“We are excited for the future of the FFA Cup and will make further announcements about its future direction in due course.”
The FFA will now be investigating new broadcast options when the current one-year deal ends, including new TV partners and potentially establishing its own streaming services for matches.
12th June 2020 - Seven to save $87 million with new AFL broadcast deal
29th May 2020 - FFA looks for A-League season restart in July
29th May 2020 - NRL secures new broadcast partnerships with Nine and Foxtel
29th April 2020 - FFA prepares guidelines for the resumption of football
27th April 2020 - FFA appoint former stars to game development panel
23rd April 2020 - FFA extends postponement of the Hyundai A-League
30th March 2020 - FFA announces 70% staff cut due to COVID-19
24th March 2020 - FFA announces suspension of A-League season
17th March 2020 - FFA suspends grassroots football
15th January 2020 - New FFA Chief Executive sets out priorities at first press conference
13th February 2020 - A-League’s Perth Glory agrees new sponsorship as ownership change looms
18th February 2020 - Western United reaches 5,000 members milestone in first A-League season
19th August 2019 - FFA announces independent review of national football teams
1st July 2019 - FFA agrees to independent management for the A-League
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