Football Federation Australia has confirmed that the domestic Pay-TV broadcaster Fox Sports has signed a seven year agreement, commencing 2007, to exclusively broadcast all Australian home internationals, the Asian Cup, Hyundai A-League and AFC Champion League. The agreement is worth in excess of A$120 million which, on an annualised basis, represents an almost 20 times increase on the revenue received from Fox Sport (A-League) and SBS TV (internationals) for the current season.
“This transaction creates a 'home of football' and enables the FFA to support and nurture the whole of the game, including the professional and community arms. The Socceroos will be beneficiaries, as will the Hyundai A-League, both at the overall competition level, as well as individual clubs; this deal enables the FFA to subsidise each club, equally, and thus will help sustain them," the Chairman of FFA, Frank Lowy, said
FFA Chief Executive John O’Neill said the announcement represented “a terrific deal for football at this early stage of its development as a mass entertainment sport in Australia" but stressed the challenges still facing the game in Australia.
“At this stage, above everything else, football needs security and sustainability. It is something that it has never had, and without it the game would remain fragile and vulnerable,” he said. “As significant as this agreement is, it is sobering to remind ourselves of the extraordinary resources required to operate such a uniquely diverse and expansive sport as ours. Eight national representative teams – men and women – as well as a genuinely national professional domestic competition and a grassroots participant base comprising more than a million players, means there are a lot of mouths to feed!"
See also: Australia may score 20 times increase in TV rights (21 Apr)