How important is Asia in FFA’s next media deal?
There has been a lot of speculation about Football Federation Australia’s next media rights deal.
My original forecast was $100 million. I had reduced this to $40 to $60 million essentially because World Cup Qualifiers are controlled by the AFC and the FFA will only get a figure of around $1 million per game.
With the arrival of the Western Sydney Wanderers (WSW) in the A-League, I revised my forecast to $50 to $70 million.
The Wanderers are going from strength to strength. On my own anecdotal evidence, more and more people are excited about a team in Sydney’s west.
WSW seem to have done what many considered impossible – they appear to be winning over the former NSL teams in south western Sydney and appealing to the new football people of the Hills.
Right now, the European Champions League is very popular with football fans throughout Australia.
Also, the strength of football and in particular the European Champions League in Asia is also well known. But what a lot of people don’t know is how popular the Asian Champions League is becoming.
A recent article on Yahoo Seven illustrated this growth in popularity.
The article reported that “AFC Champions League audiences for the group and round of 16 stage matches are up 15 percent to 155 million across Australia, China Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)”.
The growth is simply staggering. Moreover, Australian teams are playing and have a good chance of success. At this rate of growth, the ACL could start to challenge the ECL in ratings and money.
The article also notes that “(v)iewing figures across Australia, China, Japan, Korea and the Middle East have seen significant increases over the competition’s showing during 2011, with cumulative audiences rising by an impressive 46 percent”.
This ratings figure by any standard is impressive.
Other interesting parts of the article: “The cumulative TV audience in China for the 2012 AFC Champions League is already 47 million ahead of the 58 million total achieved for the whole competition in 2011″.
“The competition’s popularity among TV viewers is also reflected in Japan, where the AFC Champions League garnered 86.37 million viewers for the Group Stage, an increase of 43 percent over figures at the same stage in 2011″.
At some point in time Australian media will no longer be able to ignore these figures.
I feel this incredible jump in ratings for the ACL has caught everyone off guard and many don’t even know it. The Japanese figure of 86.37 million for a single round of the ACL group qualifying stage is staggering. The Chinese figure at this stage is up to 47 million people.
What value then is the ACL worth, and with such a huge Asian audience, what must this be worth to our next media deal. Asian viewers do not watch Australian TV or our ads but a competition growing at this rate sooner or later will get football people to watch.
I stated earlier that I believe the Wanderers are winning over the NSL folk from south western Sydney and from north western Sydney. Many of these people would be fans of the ECL. Sooner or later, they will want to watch the ACL too.
It’s a football competition that is easy to understand and more importantly, a team from your own country is represented.
How this will impact upon the A-League ratings and build an interest in qualifying for the ACL is still up in the air. However, with growth such as that illustrated above, the future looks bright for the A-League and football in Australia
Passionate about your football? Then sign up to The Roar's brand new daily football email, delivering Roaring articles directly to you day-in, day-out. You'll love it!
Click here to join now!
Looking to join The Roar team? We're searching for an experienced Group Sales Manager to lead our team in Sydney. Yes, this does mean you get to work with the site all day long! If you're a digital media sales star, we want to hear from you. Apply now.