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A-League confirms ‘AUS$200m’ rights deal that sees Paramount+ launch in Australia

ViacomCBS to also air domestic top-flight soccer on commercial Network Ten in five-year deal.

26 May 2021 Tom King
  • Network 10 to air one A-League match per round
  • 10 Bold will become the broadcast home of the W-League
  • Paramount+ to launch in Australia in August offering access to all games
  • ViacomCBS has also taken a small stake in the Australian Professional Leagues

The A-League and W-League, Australian soccer's top flight men's and women's competitions, have agreed a new five-year domestic broadcast partnership with ViacomCBS that will see the market launch of Paramount+.

From the start of the 2021/22 season, the A-League and W-League will be aired across the streaming platform and the Network Ten commercial channel. According to the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), the Australian Professional Leagues (APL), which manages the competitions' rights, signed a five-year contract with ViacomCBS worth AUS$200 million (US$155.5 million) in cash and commercial contra, with the deal also including a trigger for a further three-year extension.

Every Saturday night during the season, the leading A-League game will be aired via Football Night on Ten. The Ten Bold commercial channel will be the new home of the W-League, with a live match broadcast every Sunday. All free-to-air matches will also be simulcast on the Ten Play streaming platform.

A-League and W-League games will also be available on Paramount+ when it launches in Australia in August with a price point of AUS$8.99 (US$6.98), with soccer fans and club members given a special deal to access all games. ViacomCBS said it is making live soccer 'a cornerstone' of its Australian expansion and has taken a minor stake in the APL to share in the game’s growth.

Beverley McGarvey, ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand's chief content officer and executive vice president, said: “As part of this landmark media rights partnership, all the action, excitement and fierce competition of the A-League and Westfield W-League will be broadcast on Network Ten and Paramount+.

“Ensuring broad reach on free-to-air, as well as extensive access on Paramount+, we are committed to showcasing the sport in innovative ways and exposing it to a plethora of programming opportunities across all our platforms, including those of our parent company ViacomCBS.”

It marks the first significant commercial announcement for the APL since its member clubs began taking control of the A-League, W-League, Y-League and e-League on 31st December last year. 

APL managing director, Danny Townsend, said: “Fundamental to our strategy is a determination to ensure that we connect and engage with every Australian. This agreement starts that process by giving the game unprecedented reach and the backing of an absolutely iconic and globally renowned broadcaster.

“Football is played all over Australia, and the creative power that this partnership will deliver can unlock what we believe is an audience the game has never managed to reach before.”

In 2020, Foxtel negotiated a significant fee reduction for its A-League rights to AUS$25 million (US$19.4 million) in cash and AUS$7 million (US$5.4 million) in contra to retain the competition in a deal that expires at the end of June.


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