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May 16, 2016

Optus keen on A-League and Socceroos rights

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Optus chief executive Allen Lew has told Fairfax Media that the telco is keen on going for the rights to the A-League and Socceroos matches.

Football Federation Australia officially opened negotiations with interested parties for the rights to A-League and Socceroos matches in April.

Lew told Fairfax that Optus has sounded out the FFA for broadcast rights despite facing fierce criticism for limiting its English Premier League coverage to Optus customers.

“We’re looking at it seriously,” Lew said.

“If it makes sense and it adds value to what we are providing football fans, at a commercial deal that we feel is fair, then we will see how we can bring it across. But, it’s early days and let’s see what happens.”

Optus is creating a dedicated football channel that will be available on Optus TV with Fetch, their well-publicised acquisition of the EPL rights being the major attraction of the channel.

A potential bidding war for the rights to domestic football may occur. There is competition from free-to-air broadcasters with Ten Network reported to be keen on a marquee Saturday night A-League match but current rights holder Fox Sports has the first and last rights to put in a bid.

Fox Sports has held rights to the A-League since its inception in 2005 with its chief executive Patrick Delany telling Fairfax: “We have been an unfalteringly strong supporter of Australian football and specifically the A-League and that dates along way back to the time when the A-League was only a glimpse in the eye of Frank Lowy.

“We’re committed to continue to work with the FFA and the football community to build on what’s happened in the last 10 years and continue to mission of making football more popular in Australia,” Mr Delany added.

Read more by Max Mason at Fairfax.


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