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April 20, 2017

ABC in the mix for free-to-air football rights

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Football Federation Australia has reportedly failed to complete a deal with either of the three commercial free-to-air television networks for their football properties, which has made government broadcaster ABC the leading contender to gain the rights to A-League and Socceroos matches.

According to the Australian Financial Review, channel’s Seven, Nine and Ten plus current free-to-air rights holder SBS did not lodge an official bid with the FFA by last Thursday’s deadline.

Reportedly, the three commercial network’s were put off by the FFA requirements such as the price demanded by the governing body and having to pay Fox Sports $2 million in annual production costs which has given the ABC a run at the rights.

Furthermore, the Australian Financial Review reported that there has been “multiple bids” for rights, such as Telstra bidding for streaming rights.

If no free-to-air deal occurs, the rights revert to Fox Sports for an extra $2 million to $4 million per year.

The pay-television broadcaster could still on-sell the rights to another broadcaster as it already does by on-selling Socceroos matches to Channel Nine.

The A-League is in the final weeks of its $160 million four-year deal with Fox Sports and SBS.

Read more: Australian Financial Review


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