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Disappointing broadcasting figures for A League

Greg O'Rourke, chief executive of Australia's A-League, has admitted that audience ratings on pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports since the season's resumption have been "disappointing", with clubs set to assume some pre- and post-match coverage themselves to boost engagement, reports SportBusiness.

Foxtel last month reached an agreement with Football Federation Australia (FFA) to cover the remainder of the 2019-20 season and the 2020-21 campaign in a deal worth a reported A$32m (€19.8m/$22.9m).

Ratings for Fox's A-League coverage since the restart have been below-par, with only 12,000 fans tuning into Sydney FC vs Wellington Phoenix last Friday and 9,000 watching Perth Glory vs Central Coast Mariners, according to figures from OzTam, Australia's official television audience measurement.

O'Rourke told the Herald: "The Fox numbers are important and they're disappointing, I'm not going to shy away from that.

"We would prefer it to be higher so people weren't talking so much about metrics and more about the game. But whilst the Fox broadcast is the carrier of the product, it's viewed many different ways.

"We're pushing people to watch it on Kayo and My Football Live because we know we're out of season, and some people would have probably turned the [Foxtel] box off who were football lovers."

Fox Sports has scaled back its A-League production since signing its new deal with the FFA and Sydney FC is among the clubs seeking to boost engagement ahead of matches.

Ian Ferris
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Ian Ferris

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