Domestic Australian soccer leagues are set to feature on new providers from the 2021/22 season. Both the men’s A-League and women’s W-League will air exclusively on Network Ten and the new streaming service Paramount Plus, which is set to arrive in Australia from August 2021.
A-League TV rights deal goes to Network Ten and Paramount+
If you’re a fan of Australia’s two most popular soccer leagues, you will be aware that there has been a tug-of-war for broadcast rights in recent months. Both the A-League and W-League saw competitive bids from long-term rights holders Fox Sports, as well as Nine and their streaming service, Stan Sport.
However, it is Network Ten and their parent company Paramount that have walked away with the main prize. They have signed a five-year deal worth a reported $200 million. This deal will start from the 2021/22 season and run for five years until the end of the 2025/26 campaign.
But what does this mean for those who have been watching via Foxtel, Kayo and ABC? Well, the good news is that there will still be one game per week broadcast on free to air via Network Ten. This will go out every Saturday, a welcome move that will no doubt promote further interest in the game. All matches across the season including the final will be streaming live via Paramount Plus, which is available from August 2021 in Australia, at an expected cost of $8.99 per month.
It is also rumoured that there will be a special discount offer, or possibly a free trial arriving for A-League fans to try out new Paramount Plus coverage. W-League matches will be available via Network Ten’s free to air digital channel, 10 Bold.
Paramount are no strangers to the ‘beautiful game’. In the US they hold the rights to major football competitions like the UEFA Champions League and Italian Serie A, which are shown on Optus and Fox Sports/Kayo respectively in Australia.
This will no doubt complicate things for soccer fans who want to watch multiple competitions from around the world at the same time. If you want to watch the EPL, La Liga, Serie A and A-League games, you will now need three different subscriptions from Foxtel/Kayo, Optus Sports and Paramount+ streaming services.
When do new A-League broadcast rights start?
Network Ten and Paramount’s commercial broadcast deal with the APL (Australian Professional Leagues) will start next season. The A-League and W-League seasons traditionally start in October, but this year’s campaign was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak. It has not yet been confirmed exactly when the 2021/22 season will get underway. Every game of the men’s and women’s competition will air on Network Ten and Paramount Plus.
Who has A-League broadcast rights now?
Foxtel has held the A-League broadcast rights for 16 years. You can still stream live coverage on both Foxtel and Kayo via the Fox Sports channel until the end of June 2021. One game per week goes out on free to air with ABC as part of the deal. Games are still taking place every week on these services, with the finals getting underway in June. That means that if you want to watch every match for the remainder of the season you will need access to Fox Sports and ABC channels. You can currently watch A-League games, as well as over 50 other live sports for with a 14 Day Kayo Free Trial.
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Socceroos and Matildas Broadcast Rights
Football Federation Australia broadcast rights are soon up for grabs and could also start a bidding war much like Australian Professional Leagues. With World Cup, Olympic and Asia Cup football qualifiers spread several many providers, many of the deals are running into their last year. Network Ten, Fox Sports, Nine, SBS and ABC are all interested, with major tournaments like the Men’s World Cup starting in 2022.
Streaming Devices for Watching Football
Streaming sport on your favourite device has never been easier. Here we have selected some of the best devices on the market today for streaming everything from A-League and W-League to La Liga and the FA Cup.
For years, Apple TV devices have been an ideal instant streaming solution that does it all. There are two models available – Apple TV HD handles video up to 1080p, while Apple TV 4K adds full support for 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision. Kayo Sports is great on Apple TV, with flawless 4-way Split View.
A hugely popular low-cost streaming solution, Google’s Chromecast got a make-over in 2020, and now comes in two very different flavours. The basic Chromecast is still available, but the newer Google TV version (which replaces the Ultra) adds a remote control and an on-screen interface.
Foxtel Now Box
Foxtel’s own streaming box is an Android TV device that brings the Foxtel Now experience front and centre in its user interface – making it a natural choice if your preferred way of streaming sports is via the live channels that Foxtel Now offers, with on-demand streaming and live free-to-air channels as well.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
This easy alternative comes in three flavours – a budget Lite model, the standard one, and a 4K version. All of them are simple “plug in and go” stick-shaped devices that work similarly to Google’s newest Chromecast, except these use Amazon’s custom user interface and support Alexa voice control.
Nvidia Shield TV
A powerful Android TV streaming device from one of the world’s leading PC graphics companies comes in the form of a small “tube” with connections at either end, along with a slim backlit remote control. It can easily deal with every streaming app under the sun, including Kayo and Foxtel.