FFA reveals $160m TV deal

FOOTBALL

It was hailed as a "bloody good day" by Football Federation Australia (FFA) chairman Frank Lowy as the long-awaited multi-million dollar broadcast rights deal was unveiled.

The $160 million four-year agreement will bring the A-League to free-to-air television for the first time with the rights to be shared between Foxtel, Fox Sports and SBS.

Beginning from the 2013/2014 A-League season, SBS will show one live match every Friday in the deal that ends on July 1, 2017.

The deal delivers $148 million in cash to the game, with $12 million in advertising and marketing, and also means all Socceroos' World Cup qualifiers will be shown on SBS.

The new funds will also allow the FFA to cover the full cost of the salary cap in the grant it gives the 10 clubs.

"This is day that we can say football is here to stay," new FFA CEO David Gallop declared.

"The former sleeping giant of Australian sport is awake. He's out of bed, he's in the street and now has some cash in his pockets," Gallop said at a media conference yesterday.

"This announcement comes at a time when the A-League is showing its true potential as the shop window of Australian football."

Gallop revealed that after seven rounds this season the average crowd figures are up 32 per cent cent from last season with a 35 per cent increase in average TV audiences.

While big-name marquees like Italian star Alessandro Del Piero, former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey and Japanese playmaker Shinji Ono are a big part of the attraction, Fox Sports' boss Patrick Delany insists they were not a factor in getting the deal over the line.

He did, however, say that a having a team in Sydney's west played a role.

"We were done before all that (marquees) came," Delany said.

"I think it was very important to serve western Sydney so, yes, it was a factor." AAP

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