FFA considers renegotiating rights deals

Football Federation Australia (FFA), the sport’s national governing body, is reportedly considering curtailing its rights deals with pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports and free-to-air broadcaster SBS ahead of schedule.

Under the deals – which run for four years, from 2013-14 to 2016-17 – Fox Sports show all games in the Australian top-tier A-League while SBS simulcasts Friday night matches. The deals are worth a total of Aus$160m (€106m/$115m).

A report in the Australian Financial Review newspaper said that the governing body is concerned about low ratings for A-League matches on SBS and believes it could gain more value from a deal with free-to-air commercial networks.

The newspaper added that Seven West Media and Network Ten have been linked with a bid for the rights if the existing agreements are cancelled.

Any potential new deal before the current agreement expires in 2017 would be contingent on Fox Sports agreeing to bring negotiations forward. SBS would also be required to give up its rights as part of the process.