Nine & Foxtel to Air Socceroos World Cup Qualifiers
The Socceroos 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers will now be broadcast on free-to-air in a deal between Nine and Fox Sports.
The deal will see both networks broadcast the remaining eight qualifying games for the Socceroos live, beginning with a match against Saudi Arabia on Friday morning running through to the final qualifier in September 2017.
“This is a great result for football, tremendous news for Socceroos fans around Australia. We welcome the undeniable sports broadcast expertise of Channel Nine on board for what will be two massive games for the Socceroos in the road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop said.
Wins for the Socceroos against United Arab Emirates and Iraq were only shown on Fox Sports, despite free-to-air networks also showing interest in broadcasting the matches. The FFA said broadcaster selection was made by the Asian Football Confederation and their marketing agency Lagardere. SBS reported that these matches were the first competitive games in over four years not to be shown on a free-to-air network.
In 2011, SBS secured the rights to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Optus is set to broadcast every game of the 2018 World Cup in a deal struck earlier this year, which also allows SBS to broadcast one Premier League game per week. Optus paid $150 million for the EPL rights for three seasons, leaving previous broadcaster Fox Sports to make individual deals with six clubs for replay rights and other content.