Fox Sports threaten to withhold $5m from FFA over Western United


Fox Sports threaten to withhold $5m from FFA over Western United

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Feed_The_Brox
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https://www.theage.com.au/sport/soccer/fox-sports-threaten-to-withhold-5m-from-ffa-over-western-united-20190221-p50zeh.html

Fox Sports threaten to withhold $5m from FFA over Western United

A decision by A-League expansion side Western United not to incorporate the word ‘Melbourne' in its name could cost Football Federation Australia $5 million in annual TV rights after it opened the door for Fox Sports to challenge its obligation to increase broadcast payments.

The Herald understands Fox Sports is seeking to avoid paying a nine percent increase of its broadcast deal in June 2021 despite being contractually obliged to contribute an additional $5million if two new teams were introduced to the A-League from Sydney and Melbourne.

However, several sources suggest the Pay TV provider is intending to withhold the revenue increase after the newest A-League side announced last week that it would compete under the name "Western United Football Club" while based in Wyndham in west Melbourne while temporarily playing games in Geelong in its first two years. 

It's understood that representatives of Fox Sports argued to FFA that in not being associated by name with Melbourne, Western United cannot be viewed as a team from the Victorian capital, rather as a regional club.

FFA issued a stern response to Fox Sports, arguing the name does not diminish its association with Melbourne, citing AFL side Western Bulldogs as an example. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, administrators urged Western United to incorporate more references to the city of Melbourne in their latter stages of branding.

It's understood FFA hoped to kill off the argument entirely by pushing the new club to include the word "Melbourne" or references to the city in its yet-to-be-released logo. Sources suggest FFA is continuing to lobby the group to adapt a stronger association with the city before entering the competition.

The governing body is hoping the new team will be playing out of its new purpose-built football stadium on the outskirts of Melbourne before July 2021, when Fox Sports must increase its payments for expansion.

The club will enter the A-League in October, playing out of Kardinia Park in Geelong for at least two seasons during construction of its permanent home in Tarneit, 30 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne.

The Herald sought comment from Fox Sports on Thursday. It is understood the network has not disputed the other A-League expansion club, Macarthur South-West Sydney, being a team from Sydney.

While Fox Sports are unlikely to be successful in arguing the newest A-League club are not from Melbourne, the stoush reflects the pay TV provider's dwindling appetite for Australian domestic football at a time when viewership has dropped significantly.

Last week, only 29,000 watched Western Sydney Wanderers beat Adelaide United on the Saturday night timeslot while Newcastle Jets win over Melbourne City on Friday night attracted 18,000 viewers on Fox Sports.

Last season had an average ratings of 51,000 for each game while the 2016-17 season average audience was 63,000 per match. The A-League's peak average rating on Fox Sports was almost 75,000 in the 2012-13 season which included Alessandro Del Piero at Sydney FC and the birth of Western Sydney Wanderers.

The FFA has entered negotiations for a new free-to-air partnership for next season with its partnership with Channel1 0 yet to attract a broader reach.

The A-League has been televised live on 10 for the past two seasons after Fox Sports purchased the FTA component, moving it to 10 as part of its former partnership with the network. The current agreement doesn't encourage promotion from 10 with sources suggesting Fox Sports retains the bulk of advertising revenue from Saturday night games.


I think this deserves its own thread due to the underlying current here. its absolutely alarming that fox sports is trying to wiggle its way out of its obligations. it helps reinforce the rumour that they tried to buy out of the HAL 12 months ago. I'm glad to FFA told them get stuffed, but we are within our rights to be very worried about this.

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2 Years Ago by Feed_The_Brox
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The HAL is in trouble, look at the ratings decline in the last few paragraphs. You are talking about a 50% decline in viewers since the last pay tv deal and FTA ratings are so low you cant even get figures anymore so no wonder fox are looking to reduce costs. Doesn't bode well for the next tv deal.









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It stresses the importance of havign our shit together (Independent HAL, clear expansion + 2nd Division plans) by the time the next TV deal comes around. 

At this stage, there's no way we even get a remotely similar deal to the one we just got. The ratings are abysmal across the board. 
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It's the FFA's fault for allowing the league to stagnate. We'd probabaly be better of if the a-league collapsed and a new league was started with promotion and relegation and more teams.

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The interesting thing here is that of the Melbourne bids, I don't think either Team 11 or WUFC were ever going to use the word Melbourne in the name. South Melbourne would have been the only Melbourne bid that would have fit that requirement. This is clearly Fox trying to weasel out of the deal.

Questions also need to be asked of the FFA as to why it continued to entertain Canberra. It is obvious now that only bids that met Fox's funding requirement where actually going to succeed, so why waste Canberra's time and resources. Yet another example of a lack of transparency from the FFA.

With Fox receiving the bulk of advertising revenue from the FTA broadcast, it's no wonder 10 don't promote it. Why should they. Yet another example of shortsightedness on behalf of the FFA. They really should be pushing to have all games broadcast on a FTA network, but have them on a delayed telecast rather than live. Having a single live game on FTA is useless as there is no saturation. 


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would sbs take us back? 
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So, all Melbourne teams should have Melbourne in their name and its the same for Sydney?

Fox sports can get fucked.

Theres going to be regional teams in the a-league anyway especially when promotion and relegation comes in the near future.

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As crazy as it is this is really worrying signs for the league.The harsh reality is the fox money is what keeps the league alive and if fox are looking at ways to get out of committing to the league (through dictating the season length and limiting expansion and then trying to still get out of paying extra). It says things are not in a great way. 

But its a bit laughable the solution to fix everything- i.e. pro/rel is being mentioned. If fox are losing interest broadcasting the top division they will have absolutely no interest in a second division broadcast especially in more remote areas than the big cities. I cant see a second div being truly professional without broadcast deal and I cant see it getitng a broadcast deal. 

And for the comments of we dont need fox- we really really do. We havent exactly had FTE bashing down the door offering big contracts and neither has a streaming comapny. No fox money means no professional league. 

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Has it occurred to anyone that the reason for the decline in Foxtel rating may also be attributed to online streaming  ? I still have Foxtel and watch it on that format ...I am older....but many of the younger generation watch it on other platforms .
It is obvious that the A-League has stagnated a little over the past few years (Thank you Steven Lowy ,David Gallop) but I am not convinced the Foxtel figures are telling the true story.
Seems an obvious fix ...last good ratings were when we had a new club and star marquees.
new clubs ? - check
star marquees ? - no

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It's doubly ironic that the FFA themselves insisted on Northern Fury rebranding as Northern Queensland Fury because they needed to give a clearer geographic indicator...  Yet quite happily approved a Western United bid that is clearly about the western region rather than the west of the city.  They must have cross-hairs on their feet at FFA HQ.

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RedKat - 22 Feb 2019 10:10 AM
But its a bit laughable the solution to fix everything- i.e. pro/rel is being mentioned. If fox are losing interest broadcasting the top division they will have absolutely no interest in a second division broadcast especially in more remote areas than the big cities. I cant see a second div being truly professional without broadcast deal and I cant see it getitng a broadcast deal. 

And for the comments of we dont need fox- we really really do. We havent exactly had FTE bashing down the door offering big contracts and neither has a streaming comapny. No fox money means no professional league. 

very backwards thinking. with that attitude football never get anywhere in this country.

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miron mercedes - 22 Feb 2019 10:11 AM
Has it occurred to anyone that the reason for the decline in Foxtel rating may also be attributed to online streaming  ? I still have Foxtel and watch it on that format ...I am older....but many of the younger generation watch it on other platforms .
It is obvious that the A-League has stagnated a little over the past few years (Thank you Steven Lowy ,David Gallop) but I am not convinced the Foxtel figures are telling the true story.
Seems an obvious fix ...last good ratings were when we had a new club and star marquees.
new clubs ? - check
star marquees ? - no

Well put it this way- if the numbers were healthy across all platforms, Fox would not be trying to renege on their contract over a team name. 
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RedKat - 22 Feb 2019 10:10 AM
As crazy as it is this is really worrying signs for the league.The harsh reality is the fox money is what keeps the league alive and if fox are looking at ways to get out of committing to the league (through dictating the season length and limiting expansion and then trying to still get out of paying extra). It says things are not in a great way. 

But its a bit laughable the solution to fix everything- i.e. pro/rel is being mentioned. If fox are losing interest broadcasting the top division they will have absolutely no interest in a second division broadcast especially in more remote areas than the big cities. I cant see a second div being truly professional without broadcast deal and I cant see it getitng a broadcast deal. 

And for the comments of we dont need fox- we really really do. We havent exactly had FTE bashing down the door offering big contracts and neither has a streaming comapny. No fox money means no professional league. 

We are dependent on Foxtel money like a druggo relies on their dealer. Need to wean ourselves of it some how or at least not be as dependent.
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miron mercedes - 22 Feb 2019 10:11 AM
Has it occurred to anyone that the reason for the decline in Foxtel rating may also be attributed to online streaming  ? I still have Foxtel and watch it on that format ...I am older....but many of the younger generation watch it on other platforms .
It is obvious that the A-League has stagnated a little over the past few years (Thank you Steven Lowy ,David Gallop) but I am not convinced the Foxtel figures are telling the true story.
Seems an obvious fix ...last good ratings were when we had a new club and star marquees.
new clubs ? - check
star marquees ? - no

It's not isolated to the HAL. Ratings have been slumping and declining across most sports around the world. NFL, NBA and EPL are all on the decline and have been for the last few years. All of those sports offer streaming services, yet there is still a decline. There is no single reason for this and no single solution.
My hypothesis is that production costs have become far are too high and they need to be reduced. To put it simply, the media industry needs to be streamlined, in particular staffing levels and wages need to drop. 
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Northern Queensland was never going to get a second team so a far reaching name is not inappropriate. As it turns out Northern Queensland is lucky it even had one.

In a resort somewhere

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Burztur - 22 Feb 2019 10:32 AM
RedKat - 22 Feb 2019 10:10 AM

We are dependent on Foxtel money like a druggo relies on their dealer. Need to wean ourselves of it some how or at least not be as dependent.

Correct.

We need a self-sustainable league - THEN go for the tv money.

The reality is that an A-League franchise costs around $7-10m/year to run.  They get less than $3m/year from tv...  So if we can trim them to run on a $4m budget, the tv money becomes gravy.  As interest increases in the clubs themselves, the tv value will rise.  
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many lower divisions don't get broadcast usually only the big games..
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So by reducing their turnover interest will grow. Lol.

In a resort somewhere

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paulc - 22 Feb 2019 10:39 AM
So by reducing their turnover interest will grow. Lol.

no, its about allowing clubs to operate within there means rather than being dictated to by a multitude of rules and regulations like the salary cap for example.

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jlm8695 - 22 Feb 2019 10:26 AM
miron mercedes - 22 Feb 2019 10:11 AM

Well put it this way- if the numbers were healthy across all platforms, Fox would not be trying to renege on their contract over a team name. 

No one said numbers were healthy across all platforms...I simply suggested that maybe they are not as bad as the Foxtel figures show .
Foxtel are paying the lions share of funding for the A-League yet they are sharing viewers with other platforms and may be angling for an excuse to pay much less (or pull out altogether). This is not just a "football" problem ..it is a problem across all broadcasting  ie FTA TV and Foxtel shows in general.
Football needs to maybe consider having their own film unit and selling directly to all platforms . ala  Liverpool TV , Manchester UTD TV etc etc ...and yes I realize that would be a big and expensive change but we need to start looking ahead ...in only a few years Foxtel and FTA will not exist in their current form .
We will need to have some sort of income stream in place.
We need to be pro-active not reactive ...for once .

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simione001 - 22 Feb 2019 10:25 AM
RedKat - 22 Feb 2019 10:10 AM

very backwards thinking. with that attitude football never get anywhere in this country.

Or its just realistic and people like their dreams. 

Burztur - 22 Feb 2019 10:32 AM
RedKat - 22 Feb 2019 10:10 AM

We are dependent on Foxtel money like a druggo relies on their dealer. Need to wean ourselves of it some how or at least not be as dependent.

What league is reliant on their TV money? And how do you propsoe we become independent on broadcasting money? Because if you say go FTE or streaming not only is that less money for the league but none of those are realistically lining up and throwing their money at the league. Without fox the league is going to die. 

Benjamin - 22 Feb 2019 10:36 AM
Burztur - 22 Feb 2019 10:32 AM

Correct.

We need a self-sustainable league - THEN go for the tv money.

The reality is that an A-League franchise costs around $7-10m/year to run.  They get less than $3m/year from tv...  So if we can trim them to run on a $4m budget, the tv money becomes gravy.  As interest increases in the clubs themselves, the tv value will rise.  

Contraction for growth is an odd idea. How exactly are you proposing cutting 3mil from costs?

ARNIE= LEGEND

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One radical solution is that the FFA takes on the cost of production themselves, and then offers a finished product to the networks, in addition to streaming it on their own platform/in partnership with a telco.
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Benjamin - 22 Feb 2019 10:36 AM
Burztur - 22 Feb 2019 10:32 AM

Correct.

We need a self-sustainable league - THEN go for the tv money.

The reality is that an A-League franchise costs around $7-10m/year to run.  They get less than $3m/year from tv...  So if we can trim them to run on a $4m budget, the tv money becomes gravy.  As interest increases in the clubs themselves, the tv value will rise.  

Lifting this off the P&R thread which spoke about the J League:

The league also encouraged the clubs to promote football or non-football related sports and health activities, to acquire local sponsorships, and to build good relationships with their hometowns at the grass-root level. The league believed that this would allow the clubs to bond with their respective cities and towns and get support from local government, companies, and citizens. In other words, clubs would be able to rely on the locals, rather than major national sponsors.


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RedKat - 22 Feb 2019 10:42 AM
simione001 - 22 Feb 2019 10:25 AM

Or its just realistic and people like their dreams. 

so just stay the course or do you have a better idea? perhaps football is doomed to fail in the country for all of eternity lol

Edited
2 Years Ago by simione001
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RedKat - 22 Feb 2019 10:42 AM
simione001 - 22 Feb 2019 10:25 AM

Or its just realistic and people like their dreams. 

Burztur - 22 Feb 2019 10:32 AM

What league is reliant on their TV money? And how do you propsoe we become independent on broadcasting money? Because if you say go FTE or streaming not only is that less money for the league but none of those are realistically lining up and throwing their money at the league. Without fox the league is going to die. 

Benjamin - 22 Feb 2019 10:36 AM

Contraction for growth is an odd idea. How exactly are you proposing cutting 3mil from costs?

Clubs need to look for other sources for sustainability. Right now, the HAL is captive to Foxtel. Foxtel as a business is also at risk as well. If the HAL was to look at long term survival, other sources or a more diverse range of sources are needed.


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Burztur - 22 Feb 2019 10:47 AM
RedKat - 22 Feb 2019 10:42 AM

Clubs need to look for other sources for sustainability. Right now, the HAL is captive to Foxtel. Foxtel as a business is also at risk as well. If the HAL was to look at long term survival, other sources or a more diverse range of sources are needed.


removing the salary cap will increase the value of players.

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Melbcityguy - 22 Feb 2019 9:50 AM
would sbs take us back? 

i think they'll take anyone. the ch 10 deal is absolute poison. 

HeyItsRobbie - 22 Feb 2019 9:53 AM
So, all Melbourne teams should have Melbourne in their name and its the same for Sydney?

Fox sports can get fucked.

its just an excuse to withold the money. 

someguyjc - 22 Feb 2019 10:33 AM
My hypothesis is that production costs have become far are too high and they need to be reduced. To put it simply, the media industry needs to be streamlined, in particular staffing levels and wages need to drop. 

have you ever heard of a company called Croc Media? Its owned by Craig Hutchison (they also are the majority owners of radio station SEN).

anyway, Croc Media is primarily a company that specialises in the production of sports on radio. They then sell the production to any radio station around australia who wants to broadcast that specific sport. Thus cutting costs for everyone. have you ever heard of AFL Nation? NRL Nation? Big Bash Nation? Football Nation? They are all Croc Media productions.   

Is there anyone out there that can do a similar thing for TV? 
Edited
2 Years Ago by Feed_The_Brox
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simione001 - 22 Feb 2019 10:48 AM
Burztur - 22 Feb 2019 10:47 AM

removing the salary cap will increase the value of players.

Does that also mean introducing transfer fees - because that would be a driver for revenue.
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Maybe when the billionaire owners get to control the A-league they will form an "A-League TV" of some sort to sell content to whatever platforms they can ?
...and lets face it ..one thing billionaires are good at is selling stuff !
If we plebs can see the writing on the wall re Foxtel and FTA  I am sure it has occurred to the Club owners ...
(I would have said that FFA would have realized this too...but it would not surprise me if they had not thought of this at all :D)

Burztur
Burztur
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Feed_The_Brox - 22 Feb 2019 10:50 AM
Melbcityguy - 22 Feb 2019 9:50 AM

i think they'll take anyone. the ch 10 deal is absolute poison. 

HeyItsRobbie - 22 Feb 2019 9:53 AM

its just an excuse to withold the money. 

someguyjc - 22 Feb 2019 10:33 AM

have you ever heard of a company called Croc Media? Its owned by Craig Hutchison (they also are the majority owners of radio station SEN).

anyway, Croc Media is primarily a company that specialises in the production of sports on radio. They then sell the production to any radio station around australia who wants to broadcast that specific sport. Thus cutting costs for everyone. have you ever heard of AFL Nation? NRL Nation? Big Bash Nation? Football Nation? They are all Croc Media productions.   

Is there anyone out there that can do a similar thing for TV? 

Foxtel :)
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