Dr Mumbo

Foxtel’s W-League coverage comes up short… again

Foxtel recently announced that it had developed a series of new initiatives to boost the accessibility of women’s sport in Australia, but if the broadcast of the W-League last night is a sign of things to come, that might sound better than it actually is.

The centerpiece showdown between Sydney FC, who lifted the premiership, and bitter rivals Melbourne Victory presented the perfect opportunity to get more eyeballs across Foxtel’s suite of services, but to start with, the match wasn’t even shown on any Fox Sports channel.

Instead, football fans had to download Kayo and watch the game on the live stream. Fine, you may say… after all it, along with upcoming AFLW, WBBL, WNBL, Rugby Sevens, is being broadcast outside the paywall, completely free!

And so, Dr Mumbo fired up his Kayo Sports app, only to be let down by coverage littered with technical difficulties.

Much of the coverage was tarnished by constant buffering, even during Sydney FC’s second goal – which as you can see below, appeared to apparate between the penalty spot.

Good luck saving that one, keeper!

So why not show the game on Fox Sports? Not even Dr Mumbo can explain that one.

Plenty of viewers took to Twitter to express confusion over the fact that Foxtel was inexplicably showing highlights of other W-League games on one of its main channels.

The whole debacle is a bad look for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it only re-affirms how much (or little) Fox Sports cares about football.

Also, this is far from the first time an A-League or W-League game has experienced horrific technical difficulties. Most will recall the ‘Tuba Guy’ incident from January. If you haven’t seen it, please enjoy.

Foxtel has also received a total of $40 million from the government since 2017, including another $10 million just last year, ostensibly to further women’s sport in Australia.

Last month, The Guardian reported that The Greens had called for Australia’s auditor-general to review the grants that Foxtel had been receiving.

“These repeated stuff-ups with women’s sports broadcast are disrespectful to players and fans,” Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said at the time.

It’s been well-documented that the A-League/W-League broadcast deal with Fox Sports is up at the end of the current A-League season, with the leagues now under the new management of the APL (Australian Professional Leagues) rather than Football Australia

It certainly wouldn’t surprise Dr Mumbo to see one of the other players like Stan Sport or Optus Sport snap up the rights to Australia’s top football competitions.


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