Network Ten And Paramount+ Sign A-League Broadcast Deal
In a strategic move, ViacomCBS, the owners of Network Ten, has snared the broadcast rights to the A-League, with the US group set to bundle soccer with their new Paramount Plus streaming service, due to be launched shortly.
The A-League was rejected by Foxtel, due to poor viewing figures. Paramount+ swooped, and is now set to go head to head with Nine Entertainment and its streaming service Stan, who recently forked out $100 million for the rights to Rugby Australia.
“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,” said ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand Chief Content Officer Beverley McGarvey, said.
“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.”
Commenting on today’s announcement by the Australian Professional Leagues on a new broadcast rights agreement for the A-League and W-League, Foxtel Group CEO Patrick Delany said:
“We have enjoyed a 16-year relationship with Australian football, starting as the inaugural broadcast partner for the A-League in August 2005 supporting the game through its highs with international marquee players in 2013 and its more recent challenges completing the 2020 COVID-interrupted season.
“While we would have preferred to retain the A-League and W-League, we chose early on in the process to maintain our cost and valuation discipline in relation to these rights.
“As the Australian Professional Leagues look toward a new future, we thank them for their partnership. We have been incredibly pleased to bring the A-League and the W-League to the many fans of football in Australia. We wish the APL well and for football fans, we remain the go-to destination those who love the best in European football league action including Italy’s Serie A, Germany’s Bundesliga and Spain’s La Liga.
“I also want to acknowledge and thank our commentary and production team who brought their passion for the world game to Australian fans, in particular Mark Bosnich, Robbie Slater, Andy Harper, Adam Peacock and Tara Rushton. Along with Brenton Speed, John Kosmina, Archie Thompson, Robbie Cornthwaite, Jamie Harnwell and Michael Zappone, they have been magnificent members of the Fox Sports family.”
The big question now, according to industry sources, is how much ViacomCBS actually paid in cash, with the Stan Rugby deal being predominately contra, wrapped around a small cash component.