No Free-To-Air coverage as Australia's World Cup Campaign Commences Next Week

image - Fox Sports

Australian Football Fans will require a subscription if they wish to follow the Socceroo's fortunes, as the World Cup qualifying campaign commences next week.

Despite initial hopes a deal would be done with the 10 Network, the road to the World Cup now looks set to be a Foxtel/Kayo exclusive after the Football Federation Australia (FFA) failed to secure a free-to-air deal for the opening match in time.

The Australian team will play 8 World Cup Qualifier matches over the next ten months with the first contest to be against Kuwait on September 10. Teams in the qualification group include Jordan, Chinese Taipei, and Nepal.

The free-to-air set back comes as little progress appears to have been made regarding an A-League broadcast deal.

10 had been hoping to secure A-League broadcast rights for the next four seasons. The deal would see two matches per round broadcast on free-to-air television in Saturday and Sunday late afternoon timeslots.

FFA released the fixture for 2019/2020 A-League last month. The draw features regular Saturday marquee matches in the 5:15pm AEST timeslot. The early evening timeslot is understood to be an essential requirement from 10 for a potential new broadcast deal.

Negotiations between 10 and the FFA have been taking place for much of the year.

The FFA has scheduled Sunday matches at 4pm AEST. A move also designed to fit in with 10's schedule.

Speaking at the Fixture announcement last month, FFA Head of Leagues, Greg O'Rourke stated

"Our discussions with potential free to air broadcasters are ongoing and we hope to have a positive announcement before the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season commences.”

A key factor for 10 in securing A-League broadcast rights will be the requirement to obtain the matches exclusively. Fox Sports currently broadcasts all games of the competition. The Pay-TV broadcaster would be willing to give up two games per round, but only if it receives significant compensation from 10.

Caltex Socceroos – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Kuwait v Australia
Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Venue: Kuwait Club Stadium, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Kick-off: 6.30pm (local); 1.30am + 1 (AEST)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS, Kayo Sports, and via the My Football Live App, Live, Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

 

Australia v Nepal
Date: Thursday, 10 October 2019
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 7.30pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS, Kayo Sports, and via the My Football Live App, Live, Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers