Friday, 26 November 2010

FTA: I think football won?

All the Socceroos World Cup qualifiers will be on FTA TV from 2013.

That's the outcome of the Aussie Governments latest unique anti-siphoning tv deal.

Finally Australians will get to see some Australian football on fta tv - maybe then the game can start to develop a larger, rusted on interest with our grassroots.

Aussie kids and parents can watch the game they actually play - finally!

But what will it do to the crucial FFA revenue.

Currently FFA get $17 million per year from Fox for all Socceroos and A-League games but most of that money is said to be from the Socceroos component.

Will this money, in total, be matched or increased by splitting the Socceroos and A-League games? Football for survival must increase it's revenue or further struggle.

With the A-League appearing in the top ten programs on Fox regularly throughout the Summer season hopes of the league standing on it's own two feet financially and bringing in further revenues from TV might not be totally unrealistic.

Competition from a FTA company would, of course, secure an increase.

FTA coverage of football will be hopeless if coverage of other sports codes in Australia is anything to go by but that's a different issue.

Of course the Socceroos have more than just World Cup qualifiers to sell.

Add in the Asian Cup Qualifiers and Socceroo friendlies and there is still a worthy product for Fox to pay for and increase their spend.

Additionally which FTA station actually take the Socceroos qualifiers will be interesting to see. Could there be competition from more that one station?

If so, and you'd think so, Australian football will have really, truly entered the mainstream. Until now FTA stations have run from football indeed in Channel 7 they actually bought the rights for $1 million per year in 1997; with the sole intention of ensuring the game was never shown on FTA.

How such a Station 7,9 or 10 will promote and run the Socceroos games and indeed what they will do for football in terms of promotion around these games will be interesting and crucial for the future of the game.

FTA channels pump their news full of whatever sports they are showing. Finally some channel will be talking up football to millions of their viewers over and over. And mostly it will be positive football talk.

What impact will that have on the next generations?

Who knows how much the Socceroos alone are worth?

Football has never had a mainstream FTA bidding for and promoting the game.

The interest in the Socceroos will be as high as State of Origin or the Ashes overtime and of course there are many more World Cup qualifiers than State of Origin games.

And you can expect some huge viewing figures particularly when Australia play China, India, Japan etc.

Wonder if the FFA or the FTA TV station get to sell those rights to Foreign Countries as part of the deal - if so they could add significant revenues to the FFA coffers.

Interesting times ahead for football but it's worth noting that FFA CEO Ben Buckley was lobbying hard to keep all football and paytv or so we are told.

That suggests despite Australians finally getting to see football the FFA may not actually achieve the increased revenues the rest of the game so desperately needs.

If this is true, football might just be the loser from the anti-siphoning rules once again.

1 comment:

A Football Story said...

Australian football fans won, that is who.

And why are football media presuming this will make the A-league lose cash.