Official release from WSG World
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has appointed World Sport Group (WSG) to represent the worldwide (excluding Australia and Oceania) broadcast rights for the Australian national football league, the Hyundai A-League, for a further four years, until the end of the 2016/2017 season.
The Singapore-headquartered WSG has been an FFA sales partner since 2005. In addition to the Hyundai A-League, the FFA has also extended WSG's agreement to sell the broadcast rights to the Australian senior men's national team matches.
"FFA is pleased to continue its relationship with WSG to sell the international broadcast rights of the Hyundai A-League and senior men's national team matches," said FFA CEO David Gallop.
"We have had a long and fruitful history working with WSG and we look forward to continuing this relationship and developing further broadcast opportunities internationally for the promotion and visibility of Australian football."
"We are pleased to extend our partnership with Football Federation Australia for a further four years," said James Clarke, Senior Vice President, Content at World Sport Group. "The Hyundai A-League is one of Asia's leading leagues and together with FFA, we have been able to build a strong broadcast platform for the competition across Asia and around the world over the past few years."
Matches from the Hyundai A-League's 2012/2013 season were televised in major markets worldwide with a potential reach of nearly 90 million. Broadcasters who aired the matches included Mediaset Premium Calcio in Italy, BSkyB in the United Kingdom, Fox Sports and One World Sports in the USA, TV Asahi and NHK in Japan, i-Cable in Hong Kong, Astro in Malaysia, Starhub in Singapore and Guangdong TV in China.
The recruitment of star players like Alessandro Del Piero (Sydney FC), Emile Heskey (Newcastle Jets) and Shinji Ono (West Sydney Wanderers) by Australian clubs has increased the attraction of the league to international broadcasters. For the 2013/2014 season, WSG has already signed agreements with BT Vision to show at least two matches each week in the UK and extended their agreement with Mediaset to show all Sydney FC matches in Italy.
"In the new cycle we're looking to extend the platform further to more broadcasters in Asia, where Australian football is increasingly important, and also to broadcasters in English-speaking countries which have an affinity with Australia," Clarke said. "We are also looking to grow the league's distribution in southern and eastern Europe; regions with large migrant and expatriate populations in Australia."
Further, in partnership with Perform, the digital rights group, WSG will also stream every match played in the Hyundai A-League worldwide (subject to geoblocking in selected territories) on www.aleague.livesport.tv. WSG will support the league broadcasts on online and social media including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The Hyundai A-League 2013/2014 season features 27 rounds of five matches played from October to May. At the end of the regular season the top four teams will take part in a finals series of five matches, culminating in the Grand Final. WSG distributes all matches live in HD 16:9 with English commentary and graphics. WSG also distributes a weekly 30-minutes highlights programme.