FFA secures landmark women’s deal with Seven

Football Federation Australia, the sport’s national governing body, has agreed a deal for commercial broadcaster Seven to show coverage of the country’s national women’s team on free-to-air television for the first time.

Seven will broadcast coverage of the team’s qualifying matches for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Australia will compete to be one of two teams to represent the Asian Football Confederation at the Games. The qualifying tournament will comprise Australia, China, DPR Korea, Japan, Korea Republic, Japan and Vietnam.

Seven’s coverage will begin with Australia’s match against Japan on February 29. The game will be broadcast on free-to-air channel 7mate and also streamed live on Seven’s Plus7 platform.

David Gallop, chief executive of FFA, said: “FFA is committed to growing women’s football and this is a pleasing sign that the long-term strategy we have been undertaking over the last two years with women’s football is starting to bear fruit.”

Tim Worner, chief executive of Seven West Media, added: “Seven is proud to be bringing the next chapter of the Matildas story to all Australians and we'll be doing that live on any screen. Australians have embraced the idea of viewing live sport through apps, as the massive audience during (tennis grand slam) the Australian Open has shown.”