Network Ten and Paramount+ sign A-League broadcast deal

Network Ten’s parent company ViacomCBS has signed five-year deal with the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) to broadcast the A-League and W-League across its free-to-air channels and also new streaming service Paramount+.

A near-two year saga around the rights to Australia’s premier football competition has finally come to a close, with all games to be broadcast on the newly launched Viacom CBS streaming platform each week.

The agreement also contains an Australian first, with some A-League games to be broadcast on a major free-to-air commercial television channel (excluding multi-channels).

At least one A-League game each week will go out free-to-air, with a Saturday night 7:30pm primetime game to air on Channel Ten. In addition, one W-League game is also set to be on 10 Bold each Sunday, with all free-to-air games will be simulcast on 10 Play.

Paramount+ launches in Australia on 11 August

While previous iterations of A-League rights deals with Foxtel saw some games broadcast on the ABC, SBS and Ten’s now-defunct One HD, the current Foxtel deal has no free-to-air component.

The deal has been reported to be worth in the vicinity of $200 million including cash and commercial contra, however neither the APL or Ten would comment on the deal’s value.

The A-League and W-League’s current deal with Foxtel runs out at the end of the current season, and is worth $32 million each year. The deal was worth $60 million a year when it was first struck, but Foxtel renegotiated mid-way through 2020.

To watch all games, viewers will need to sign up to Paramount+, which launches 11 August and will cost $8.99 a month (with a seven-day free trial period). It will replace Ten All Access when it launches.

The APL revealed that football fans and members of football clubs will be given a special deal to access all games, but did not elaborate on what such a deal would look like.

As part of the deal, ViacomCBS has taken a minor stake in the APL as part of its investment in the growth of football in Australia. According to reports, that stake has been reportedly set at 2.5%.

L-R: Michael Zullo, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Jarrod Villani, Beverley Garvey, Danny Townsend, Jenna McCormick & Kwame Yeboah

ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand chief content officer and executive vice president, Beverley McGarvey, said: “We are thrilled to partner with the Australian Professional Leagues to become the new home of football for both the A-League and Westfield W-League, giving all Australians access to more football than ever before.

“As part of this landmark media rights partnership, all the action, excitement and fierce competition of the A-League and Westfield W-League will be broadcast on Network Ten and Paramount+.

“Ensuring broad reach on free-to-air, as well as extensive access on Paramount+, we are committed to showcasing the sport in innovative ways and exposing it to a plethora of programming opportunities across all our platforms, including those of our parent company ViacomCBS.”

ViacomCBS Australia and New. Zealand chief operating and commercial officer and executive vice president, Jarrod Villani, added: “The distinct alignment between our audiences further cements our strategy and commitment to broadcasting the sport.

“In addition to exhibiting the most diverse and youngest fanbase in Australia, football also boasts the highest male and female participation rate for a sport in Australia, and it’s still growing.

“And, we are proud to be making the Westfield W-League available to all Australians for the first time on commercial free-to-air television. We are looking forward to working with the Australian Professional Leagues and establishing one of the best sporting partnerships in the world.”

It won’t be the first sport to be shown on Paramount+ globally, with the platform broadcasting the UEFA Champions League in the USA.

APL chairman, Paul Lederer, said: “Less than six months ago we pledged to create value for the whole ecosystem of Australian football, and this deal is the first step in our delivering on that promise.

“This agreement with one of the world’s biggest content providers, is exactly the kind of significant and vital milestone we have always believed was possible – and that we intend to continue achieving.”

APL managing director, Danny Townsend, added: “Fundamental to our strategy is a determination to ensure that we connect and engage with every Australian. This agreement starts that process by giving the game unprecedented reach and the backing of an absolutely iconic and globally renowned broadcaster.

“Football is played all over Australia, and the creative power that this partnership will deliver can unlock what we believe is an audience the game has never managed to reach before.”

The new deal end’s the A-League’s 15-year affiliation with Foxtel and Fox Sports, and Lederer thanks the broadcaster for its “support and investment” and their “commitment to help partner us through this transition.”


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