Network Ten is set to make a major bid to secure the A-League's free-to-air broadcast rights next season and increase the number of games televised live each week, potentially challenging Fox Sports as the major broadcaster of the competition.
Ten's loss of the Big Bash League cricket to Seven and Fox Sports could become a blessing for football, with the network eager to bolster its live sports coverage and acquire the rights of a weekly national competition to challenge rival codes and networks.
The Herald understands Ten is looking to become the long-term FTA broadcaster of the A-League and televise as many weekly live games as possible during the competitive summer of sport in Australia.
Ten has entered discussions with Football Federation Australia over the FTA component of the A-League's broadcast rights, which is available as of next season. Sources suggest the network has not ruled out potentially challenging Fox Sports for a greater share of games.
"We are in discussions with Channel 10 but its not appropriate to go into the details at this point," FFA chief David Gallop said. "We need to protect the substantial investment that Fox Sports have made in the A-League while recognising that free-to-air coverage opens the game to more eyeballs."
A Network Ten spokeswoman declined to comment on discussions relating to the A-League TV rights when contacted on Friday.
While FFA has four more seasons to run with Fox Sports as part of the A-League's broadcast rights, the FTA component is yet to be sold for next season. Under the current broadcast rights with Fox Sports which expire in 2023, one A-League game per week is to be televised on FTA television with the Saturday night match of each round now shown on Ten's digital channel, One.
However, Ten has no direct partnership with the A-League or FFA despite televising one game a week. Its broadcast of the competition relates to a deal with Fox Sports, whereby the pay TV company purchased the Saturday night timeslot from Ten to broadcast its own coverage of the A-League. Under that arrangement which expires at the end of this season, it's understood Fox Sports retains all advertising revenue from the A-League coverage on Ten.
That arrangement has been a sore point for FFA and A-League clubs as Ten have not been incentivised to promote games or take an active role in the broadcast of the competition. However, that could soon change.
With A-League expansion leading to six weekly games in 2020 instead of five, sources suggest Ten is hoping to Read More – Source