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Football Media Discussion 3 (Goodbye Foxtel, Hello Paramount+)


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Trouble in paradise already?

New TV deal locked in, but Ten and FA could be set to clash over season start

The Ten Network and its new sports partner Australian Professional Leagues, the company that runs the A-League, are bracing for a stoush over start times for the kick-off of the new season later this year.

The first season of the new $200 million, five-year broadcast agreement is due to start in the spring, and while the APL and its television partner would like a late-October window, there is no certainty that Football Australia, the sport’s controlling body, will give the go ahead.

The FA controls the calendar and has made no secret of its desire to “align” all competitions in Australia as much as possible.

The A-League has historically been staged over spring and summer, or summer and autumn, ensuring the bulk of its program does not run against the NRL and AFL, the dominant football codes, who occupy the winter months.

But FA chief James Johnson has often spoken of his preference to have the A-League running alongside NPL (second tier) leagues in all states and territories, eventually paving the way for promotion and relegation and the creation of a national second division. These leagues generally play between March and October, the same time as the market-leading footy codes.

APL and Ten, hoping to quickly build an audience, desperately wish to avoid the crowded winter months of the year when the media spotlight is on rugby league and Australian rules.

Football Australia was quick to remind the new partners of its authority in a statement welcoming the new deal.

It stressed that, despite the APL’s independent status as controller of the A-League, it would still “retain regulatory functions in respect of the professional leagues, including matters relating to on-and-off-field disciplinary and integrity matters, the registration of clubs, players and officials, the transfer system, and the domestic match calendar.

“Our objective is to implement an aligned domestic match calendar in 2022 and this will involve discussions with the APL and Network Ten on the commencement of the 2021/22 A-League and Westfield W-League seasons in line with Football Australia’s objectives.”

The prime concern for Football Australia is the third FIFA international window, which is set for November 8 to 16 for the Socceroos and November 22 to 30 for the Matildas. It is during that period that World Cup qualifiers and playoffs take place, as well as international friendlies, crucial to boost the FA’s bank balance.

A-League coaches are currently complaining that they are losing key players for the upcoming finals series because they are required for the national team’s World Cup qualifiers in Kuwait next month.

The FA’s ideal scenario would be for November’s international window to be concluded before the new A-League season starts.

It also wants the FFA Cup Final to be the last game of the previous season - and that is currently pencilled in for late October/early November.

Danny Townsend, the managing director of the APL, who is also Sydney FC’s chief executive, is optimistic that a collision course can be avoided.

“We don’t see a lot changing in terms of the season structure and timing,” he said.

“We’re going to be working with Ten to work out when the right time is to launch this thing, because ultimately they’ve got some amazing programming that we can back into to ensure our audiences are significant from day one, and we’re working with them on that.

“But (we are) very collaborative, but ultimately I don’t see a huge amount of change in the amount of games, length of seasons and bookends to seasons in terms of dates.”

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On 26/05/2021 at 5:25 PM, wendybr said:

Bozza too please??

No doubt about that. Go in a listen to your manager. Will be lost if I don't have my drinking game. Every time he's says either of these.

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On 26/05/2021 at 5:09 PM, Smoggy said:

The second thing they should do is call Speed, Slater plus Harper and tell them their services will not be required.

Speed will undoubtedly stay put at Fox. I am sure Slater and Harper will be welcomed at Sydney FC TV if it is ever launched 😉. Bozza won't be so lucky, as although he claims to support both Sydney teams his preference for the red and black often shines through.

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44 minutes ago, alexd said:

Done, signed. 

I just hope Andy Harper, Brenton Speed and Robbie Slater aren't offered a job to channel 10. Slater gets paid for making stupid tipping ads for the TAB so he'll live.

 

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Roughly 8 to 9 weeks ago Townsend the APL who negotiated this deal had a chat on SBS with Lucy... in that chat he said we are not looking for the most money we are looking for a broadcaster partner ...A partner as committed as we are to grow Football and a partner who understands and respects Football.

I am told by a reliable source that Nine / Stan offered more...

MASSIVE nay MEGA MASSIVE congrats, for doing the media deal we have always needed.... the truth is 10 are hugely now invested in Football with no bidding for the NRL & AFL.. further 10 have something only SBS has and that is a number of senior personalises as Football fans, these being,  Waleed Aly, Sam Peng, Ed Kavalee, Miguel Maestre.

CBS is also heavily invested in Football with a number of broadcast of European competitions and huge experience with the MLS... The MLS part is important as they understand how to operate in a not friendly Football media environment...

The other I think key aspect is ...hhhhmmmm.... while SBS were great Football supporters of this it cannot be denied, in the Australian context they spend decades telling us all how to run and manage the game to the point were most of the Football talk centred on management structures and frameworks and it was mostly negative... 

10 will not be dictating how to run Football but talk about the game.... SBS IMO fell into its own trap in that they continually talked about structures and management and saw themselves as the ones who should run the game.... 10 won't make this mistake...

We finally have a commercial network, that understand Football, has made Football a huge part of their growth plans,  have well recognised on air celebrities who support Football and have Paramount coming in at a vert attractive price entry point.

Best media deal ever for Football in Australia.... congrats to all involved...only sad part is they did not get to do a press conference it kinda got leaked..

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If I were in charge of setting up the broadcasting my goal would be make as clean a break as possible with the old Foxtel crew and have a more professional style of presentation.

Leave Peacock (who I suspect might stay at Fox Sports as he does other roles), Archie, Slater, Harper & Speed out and look to a younger group that takes it more seriously and doesn't engage in that nonsense Fox Sports bogan banter nickname everything, invent controversy and ignorance of the laws garbage they've been putting out for a while but especially this season. Not to mention removing the horrendous pro-SFC bias (which rules out just about everyone that Fox Sports has used in Sydney in the last 5 years).

  • Bring in Nick Stoll who just left SBS to take the role as the host role for the pre-game events, get him in a suit, tell him to keep the "banter" down, not to interrupt people and keep the focus on the matches themselves.
  • Simon Hill doing as much commentary as he's willing.
  • Robbie Cornthwaite doing the 'expert' commentary. He's always done a really good job in either that or the sideline roles. No nonsense, doesn't try to invent controversy or make bad jokes.
  • Teo Pellizzeri and Zappone in Melbourne. Roddy Vargas has done expert commentary for radio, perhaps he could work on the A-League.
  • Ben Homer from Newcastle & Adam Santarossa for NSW games.
  • James Dodd would also be an option in NSW depending on how his job with Fox Sports News goes or if they'll let him do contract work for the new league.
  • Tim Gavel who does some W-League commentary now from Canberra could keep that role going among other things.
  • McBreen is fine by me, use him as a sideline/expert for Mariners & Newcastle games.
  • Adam Papalia and Jamie Harnwell as the Perth commentator team.
  • Dom Rinaldo used to work for Adelaide United and I enjoyed him doing commentary on Adelaide games. I believe his son Lucas Rinaldo could also be involved, he works for Adelaide Channel 7 and done a lot of news items on United. Could do a job as a sideline with Cornthwaite in the box
  • In Brisbane I'd try out Jarrad Neck who has done commentary for the W-League and have Kosmina doing expert/sideline commentary.
  • I assume the current setup will remain for Wellington games where you just take the feed from NZ's host network.
  • I'd look at introducing more of the women that do W-League games like Grace Gill, Amy Duggan, Georgia Yeoman-Dale into doing A-League as well.
  • Bozza I'd keep in the studio doing pre-game tactical pieces & half-time comments. If they go back to doing big game 'features' like they used to do for the Sydney Derby on location I'd do sideline comments from him as well.
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Whats wrong with banter? As long as it’s not cringey but actually funny, I think it’s important. Men in suits talking like school teachers is boring. 

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14 hours ago, Carns said:

You would assume so, unless Ten/Paramount+ do a broadcasting deal with pubs (pretty sure they often do separate deals with pubs, 9/Stan had issues with their rugby coverage in pubs due to this).

I’m pretty certain there’ll be a venue deal as that was one of the main reasons they didn’t go with Stan

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Totally agree with the clean break from the Fox crew. Needs a fresh look. Also a good point regarding introducing some women that do W leauge, like that.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, hughsey said:

Whats wrong with banter? As long as it’s not cringey but actually funny, I think it’s important. Men in suits talking like school teachers is boring. 

But it IS cringey and repetitively so....however take Speedie out and you might get improved performances from the others

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57 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

I don't think there is any improving Slater.

True maybe but he often gives good insights on how strikers operate.

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1 hour ago, Smoggy said:

Totally agree with the clean break from the Fox crew. 

This. Simon Hill is your no brainer but they will also need to look outwards from just the Fox crew for new opinions. 

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, mack said:

Trouble in paradise already?

New TV deal locked in, but Ten and FA could be set to clash over season start

..................

“Our objective is to implement an aligned domestic match calendar in 2022 and this will involve discussions with the APL and Network Ten on the commencement of the 2021/22 A-League and Westfield W-League seasons in line with Football Australia’s objectives.”

The prime concern for Football Australia is the third FIFA international window, which is set for November 8 to 16 for the Socceroos and November 22 to 30 for the Matildas. It is during that period that World Cup qualifiers and playoffs take place, as well as international friendlies, crucial to boost the FA’s bank balance.

 

Surely the FA will see reason and allow Paramount to use the a league as an early subscription boost for their new streaming service. Alignment of the calender can be pushed to 2023. Even if the 2nd division is ready to kick off next year, we a certainly a number of years away from promotion / relegation.

Edited by JustWandering
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Good chance Peacock moves across. He was heavily involved with Fox's tennis coverage - which no longer exists as they lost the French and Wimbledon to Stan/9. He doesn't do much else other then the pods and some a UFC Fight Night ep here or there.

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Other commentators to consider, who have already called games this season on Fox, are Robin Chipperfield (expat pom who primarily works for the ABC) and Russ Gibbs (does NPL Canberra and called a couple of Wellington games in Wollongong). Both would be welcome additions to the broadcast team.

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3 minutes ago, MathyouWSW said:

It should, they would actually get viewers then.

Yeah there wasn't much information on what the finals coverage would look like. Although, apparently the finals series is going to be expanded. 

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28 minutes ago, DCWSW said:

Yeah there wasn't much information on what the finals coverage would look like. Although, apparently the finals series is going to be expanded. 

8 teams :lol:

 

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7 minutes ago, marron said:

8 teams :lol:

 

Yep I thought that would be unavoidable - I was hoping that might only start when they reached 14 clubs in the competition

So they'll probably copy NRL/AFL format

 

(home) v (away)

 

Week One

Match 1: 1st v 4th

Match 2: 2nd v 3rd

Match 3: 5th v 8th

Match 4: 6th v 7th

 

Week Two

Match 5: (Loser of Match 1) v (Winner of Match 3)

Match 6: (Loser of Match 2) v (Winner of Match 4)

 

Week Three

Match 7: (Winner of Match 1) v (Winner of Match 6)

Match 8: (Winner of Match 2) v (Winner of Match 5)

 

Week Four

Grand Final: Winners of Matches 7 and 8 - hosted by the highest ranked team

 

Personally I would like to keep the 6 team finals format because:

1. making top 6 out of 14 is a minor achievement in itself

2. makes organising FFA Cup qualification easier than 8 finalists

i.e. the top 6 automatically go in and the 8 who missed out play each other in qualifier matches for a total of 10 ALeague participants in national round of 32

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1 hour ago, JustWandering said:

Surely the FA will see reason and allow Paramount to use the a league as an early subscription boost for their new streaming service. Alignment of the calender can be pushed to 2023. Even if the 2nd division is ready to kick off next year, we a certainly a number of years away from promotion / relegation.

Realistically Paramount + and A-league cannot afford to go Winter yet. This is a new beginning and they need to allow the A-league the best possible chance for success. Re-alignment can happen later on once the game has found its feet.

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Whilst it would be unpopular, I would not rule out Brenton Speed moving over to Paramount/Ten. Whilst he does call the odd AFL/NRL game, the majority of his role is calling football and Fox might choose to cut their losses and promote other talent or increase existing workloads.

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7 hours ago, hughsey said:

Whats wrong with banter? As long as it’s not cringey but actually funny, I think it’s important. Men in suits talking like school teachers is boring. 

It seeps from the studio & pre-game crosses into the sideline commentary into the play-by-play. The quality of Fox Sports coverage has cratered in the last 5 years, almost entirely because it got less and less serious.

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18 hours ago, StringerBellend said:

Craig and Lucy has to be

 

1 hour ago, MartinTyler said:

Lucy interviewing Staj could get a bit spicy !!

Leave Lucy where she is. 

Where's Tara these days? A mum again?

Surely 10 can poach Mel from 7!

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