The FFA is missing a golden opportunity

Janakan Seemampillai Roar Pro

By Janakan Seemampillai, Janakan Seemampillai is a Roar Pro

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    Melbourne Victory beat cross-town rivals City 2-1 in a cracking Melbourne derby yesterday. The match was highly anticipated with many fans excited about a game between two fierce rivals who have delivered many exciting contests in recent times.

    Their feelings were vindicated in what turned out to be a thrilling match turned on its head by one of the goals of the season.

    The missing link was this game was not televised across the country meaning numerous fans who unfortunately couldn’t get to Epping Stadium missed out. Why do you ask? Simple, it was a W-League game and not an A-League match.

    The game was streamed live on Foxtel but for many fans, this is not a feasible option. The casual fan who we need to convert into a passionate follower would most definitely not consider logging on to their laptop and spending their Sunday afternoon fighting a dodgy internet stream to watch the game.

    The W-League TV coverage has improved significantly in 2017-18 with 27 games broadcast live on SBS and Foxtel. However, this needs to be upgraded to every game for 2018-19 at least on SBS or ABC.

    The cost of this is going to be tricky with W-League still not lucrative enough for a mega TV deal but by putting the game on TV, you showcase the product to a potential audience, an audience who is growing by the minute with female football a much more appreciated spectacle than it once was.

    The coverage this year has been exceptional with the likes of Matildas legends Amy Taylor and Sarah Walsh providing great insight into the W-League in their pre and post-match analysis.

    jess-fishlock-w-league-football-2017

    (AAP Image/Tony McDonough)

    Putting more games as double-headers (up from the 25 originally scheduled this year) is a great way to keep costs down for TV stations and to make televising the match more appealing to the likes of Foxtel and Ten. There are so many young girls playing football who need to see the path that is on offer for them if they want to pursue the game more seriously.

    There are also more adults (including men) who are captivated by the improved standards of the women’s game. Stars like Sam Kerr, Jess Fishlock, Natasha Dowie and Lee Falkon, to name a few, have really captured the imagination of football enthusiasts.

    By grabbing these fans, it makes the game more lucrative for sponsors and TV entities alike, meaning more money comes into the sport which in turn can lead to decent wages for the players, meaning they can produce an even better product.

    Melina Ayres’ goal yesterday for the Victory in Epping was brilliant. A great tackle followed by an instinctive 35-yard lob over a despairing Lydia Williams in the City goals. It is a shame not many will get to see it as the goal would have made headlines if it was scored in the A-League or Premier League.

    The excitement of the Victory players and fans showed just how far the W-League has come. But the FFA is missing a golden opportunity to get more fans for the world game and, indeed, the female version of it with the lack of coverage the competition is recieving.

    Some cracking matchups are happening in the coming weeks, with Melbourne Victory visiting ANZ Stadium on Friday to take on the Western Sydney Wanderers. Superstar Sam Kerr and her Perth Glory teammates host powerhouse Canberra United at Hay Park next Saturday. The Sydney derby is coming up in a few weeks, too.

    Hopefully, this time next year we will be talking about how everyone got a chance to see the spectacular goals and exciting contests dished up by the women. It’s up to the FFA and the W-League to make a move and for Foxtel and the free-to-air networks to come to the party. Otherwise, it is the fans who miss out.

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    The Crowd Says (21)

    • Roar Guru

      January 15th 2018 @ 8:17am
      Wayne said | January 15th 2018 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      Even Facebook/Twitter/Twitch Streams would be better than nothing.

    • January 15th 2018 @ 8:36am
      Janakan said | January 15th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      Yeah or why not YouTube or even iFollow

      • January 15th 2018 @ 4:21pm
        Kanga Rodriguez said | January 15th 2018 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

        To the author

        Last week u stated ,,,,,,””” why would anybody not from Newcastle or Sydney be watching the jets v Sydney FC “””” your words .

        Why is anyone not from the city involved going to bother to watch the W league on you tube in your opinion????

        Let’s see the backflip on this .

        Cheers

    • January 15th 2018 @ 9:29am
      Nemesis said | January 15th 2018 @ 9:29am | ! Report

      @ Janakan

      I can finally agree with one of your opinion pieces!

      To coin the words of Paolo Okon “It’s criminal” that the WLeague and NYL league is not being Livestreamed on a free online platform.

      I cannot imagine FoxSports is paying big money for the rights to broadcast these competitions.

      We know the large majority of Australia do not, and never will, buy Foxtel. So, it’s not unreasonable to speculate that the majority of actual and potential WLeague and NYL audience do not, and never will, buy Foxtel.

      The FFA needs to think “big picture”. Put these competitions on Youtube for free. If people are worried about production costs, I’ve been reliably informed by a company that broadcasts FFA Cup matches for the State based teams, costs would be around $2-5k per match.

      This is nothing. Heck, for that sort of price, I’d be willing to buy the rights, pay for production & collect the advertising revenue.

    • January 15th 2018 @ 10:14am
      Janakan said | January 15th 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

      The thing is $3,000 x 52 games plus salaries of broadcasters plus moving around of equipment all adds up. I doubt that they are getting enough revenue to cover it.

      It’s worth the loss though if they can grow the league in the long run. But my understanding is cash flow is tight at the moment

      • January 15th 2018 @ 10:22am
        Nemesis said | January 15th 2018 @ 10:22am | ! Report

        Salaries for broadcasters? Get real. There are hundreds of people, who are looking to get noticed in the sports media world, who would do the job for nothing. Would give them huge exposure. The FFA Cup matches from Tassie had 2 local guys commentating – most likely for free – whose commentating style became the talk of the whole FFA Cup community.

        As I said, if production costs are $2-5k per match to get the LiveStream to every internet enabled device – not just in Australia, but all over the world – I would be willing to underwrite the cost for WLeague each season.

        I would generate 10x that in Ad Revenue.

        • January 15th 2018 @ 12:12pm
          Mattyb said | January 15th 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

          Is having people broadcast the game and not being paid legal?

          • January 15th 2018 @ 2:22pm
            Kanga Rodriguez said | January 15th 2018 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

            Bar tv in Newcastle are doing all the sports

            They generate income from advertising, clubs who use the video for training , associations for judiciary and are becoming in high demand.

            I’m pretty sure I read they went from nothing to generating a million or 2 in a few years . Not bad for a hobby for 3 newy blokes .

          • January 15th 2018 @ 4:32pm
            Nemesis said | January 15th 2018 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

            Of course it’s legal. Just like internships are legal.

            People volunteer their time & services to sporting clubs across Australia – in all sports – all the time.

            Even local businesses donate goods & services. It could be the local butcher donates the meat for the canteen; local tradesmen donate their services (electricians, plumbers, sign writers etc etc.)

            They don’t get paid. They do it because they love their club and they also know their association with the club generates business for them in the longer term.

            The fact you ask this question suggests you have never been part of a sporting club.

            Put down your mouse and go have a kick of a real ball in a real park with real people.

        • January 15th 2018 @ 4:12pm
          steve said | January 15th 2018 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

          Yeah cos that’s what people want, ads plastered all over their game feeds. LOL

          • January 15th 2018 @ 4:27pm
            Nemesis said | January 15th 2018 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

            Unless you’re a teenager, you’d know that’s how radio broadcasts were done. And, no one is forcing people to watch the free online stream.

            If you don’t like it, fine get your parents to pay a subscription to Foxtel & you can watch sport without ads.

            The streaming option I’m suggesting is for people who refuse to buy Foxtel (i.e. 75-80% of Aussies) but they’re willing to watch pirate streaming rather than buy Foxtel.

            AFL fans get ads every time a goal is scored & can’t enjoy the celebrations. My online streaming strategy will not interrupt the broadcast for 1 second.

    • January 15th 2018 @ 10:24am
      Betty B said | January 15th 2018 @ 10:24am | ! Report

      The W League is a great contest this year, the closest it’s ever been perhaps, and of the highest standard. It deserves more coverage than it gets. If the NPL matches can be streamed live on Facebook, surely that should be the minimum coverage for the W League.

    • January 15th 2018 @ 10:28am
      Kanga Rodriguez said | January 15th 2018 @ 10:28am | ! Report

      The BAR tv you tube live stream of northern nsw football is an example of how it’s done

      The bar tv guys branched to cover all footy codes in regional nsw . I’m pretty sure those guys are millionaires now . Well done to them

      • January 15th 2018 @ 5:38pm
        Nemesis said | January 15th 2018 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

        @KR

        Do you know approximately how much BarTV charges to LiveStream a match?

        I’ve just had a look at their website & it’s exactly the sort of production team & output I’d be expecting for Free online Livestreaming.

        VPA Technologies is the production company that had said the cost would be around $2-5k per match. Depending on the number of cameras you want. From their website, it appears VPA client list includes, SydFC, WSW, NIX, FNSW etc.

        BarTV website: http://www.bartvsports.com.au/video-sport-categories/football/
        VPA Technologies website: http://www.vpatechnologies.com/

        I’m sure there are lots of similar production companies out there. It’s an industry that’s going to explode as more people want LIVE entertainment content Livestreamed.

        • January 15th 2018 @ 6:20pm
          Kanga Rodriguez said | January 15th 2018 @ 6:20pm | ! Report

          approximate for livestream $ 500 – 600 per club for a match for starters

          They make revenue through other avenues, which are mentioned on their website and of course they are inundated with people who want to be involved in sports production which basically keeps their costs at a minimum.

          Last report was they livestream 900 games last season of various codes across nsw.

          They are getting much bigger and richer rapidly.

          • January 15th 2018 @ 10:46pm
            Nemesis said | January 15th 2018 @ 10:46pm | ! Report

            Thanks for that info. That’s an excellent price. Every club can afford that sort of production cost – local businesses would cover that. They’d get better ROI on that type of business advertising than just putting an ad in the local rag.

            $2-5k per match would get production & director add-ons like off-side lines, cameras behind goals, slow motion replays?

            Matches are played in the perfect timeslot for USA & Europe viewing and, from social media, there is massive interest from these regions.

            We’d easily get an average of 10-15k people watching WLeague around the world if it is streamed live.

            With $2-3 ad revenue per viewer per match = $20-45k per match broadcast revenue. Maybe, around 70% of this revenue is profit for the WLeague, with 30% paid to the Google Ads, or similar ad broker.

            • January 17th 2018 @ 3:44pm
              reuster75 said | January 17th 2018 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

              It does make you wonder just what “business expertise” there is on the cuurent FFA board that these types of broadcasting models aren’t being trialled at the very least. Are sports administrators so wedded to the old model of FTA/Pay TV broadcsting arrangements only that no other method is tried? I am aware that NPL matches have been live streamed on Facebook in the past so why in the last round of media negotiations were the FFA not encouraging those types of companies to come on baord as a trial? Is the belief that Frank Lowy had of the Socceroos being the driver for the sport in this country blinding the FFA to the fact that the a-league & w-league are what is going to drive the sport in this country? There is a real opportunity in the next three years to grow the w-league on the back of the Matildas competing for the asain cup, world cup and olympic gold. Get the w-league broadcast out there to as many people as possible by whatever means possible, this not only grows the w-league but the entire sport as a whole.

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