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Ten close to A-League, W-League rights deal – report

Australian commercial broadcaster Ten is close to agreeing a new deal for free-to-air rights to the domestic A-League and W-League club football competitions, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The newspaper reported that the deal would see Ten broadcast two A-League matches and one W-League fixture each weekend. The report said the deal could be signed “in a matter of weeks”.

Football Federation Australia has previously confirmed it is in talks with Ten over a free-to-air deal for the A-League and the Herald has now revealed that the broadcaster is the only serious bidder for this component of the rights package. The length of the prospective deal has not been disclosed.

FFA signed a long-term domestic rights deal with pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports in December 2016. The six-year agreement runs until the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

This agreement includes a provision for one A-League match being televised free-to-air each week. This is currently fulfilled through a partnership between Fox and Ten, through which the former purchased the Saturday night timeslot from the latter with matches broadcast via Ten’s digital channel, One.

The Herald’s report added that Ten would cover the production costs of its two A-League matches per weekend, with a similar arrangement likely for its W-League coverage.