SBS confirm broadcast of Arsenal’s Australian tour

Scott Pryde Roar Guru

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    It has been confirmed that SBS will broadcast both of Arsenal’s Australian tour games in July.

    Arsenal, who are one of the giants of English football, are scheduled to take on Sydney FC on Thursday, July 13, and the Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday, July 15, with both games to be played at ANZ Stadium in front of expected sell-out crowds.

    SBS will broadcast the two games through their Viceland channel, which was previously known as SBS 2, with their football experts being headed up by Craig Foster, David Basheer and Craig Moore.

    The news will be music to the ears of football fans who had to endure ABC 2’s coverage of Liverpool’s match against Sydney FC, with some dubbing it the worst TV coverage of a sporting event they had ever seen.

    SBS have previously broadcast the A-League, as well as Socceroos matches, the FIFA World Cup and FA Cup finals. On top of that, they have shown other big matches from around the globe and their weekly programme The World Game, earning it the nickname of the ‘soccer broadcast service.’

    It was also announced both games would be streamed live on SBS’s online football platform, The World Game.

    SBS Director of Sport Ken Shipp said he was pleased SBS were showing the games, and that it would be a good opportunity for fans to see Arsenal in the build-up to the Premier League season.

    “We are pleased to be presenting the broadcast of the Arsenal In Sydney games on SBS Viceland next week,” he said.

    “The Premier League season is less than six weeks away, so it’s a great chance for football fans to see how Arsenal are shaping up for the competition.”

    Arsenal are also said to be completing negotiations to stream the game live on Arsenal TV for international audiences, which would see the game televised throughout Asia, America and Europe.

    Arsenal in Sydney schedule

    Arsenal vs Sydney FC
    Date: Thursday, July 13
    TV broadcast start: 7:30pm
    Kick-off: 8:00pm
    TV broadcast end: 10:15pm

    Arsenal vs Western Sydney Wanderers
    Date: Saturday, July 15
    TV broadcast start: 7:30pm
    Kick-off: 8:00pm
    TV broadcast end: 10:15pm

    The Roar will also cover both games with a live blog and highlights.

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,100 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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    The Crowd Says (52)

    • July 4th 2017 @ 3:27pm
      Midfielder said | July 4th 2017 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

      Great news

    • July 4th 2017 @ 5:21pm
      Lionheart said | July 4th 2017 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

      whatever happened to ABC2?

      • July 4th 2017 @ 5:26pm
        Midfielder said | July 4th 2017 @ 5:26pm | ! Report

        ABC did a terrible job last time ..

    • July 4th 2017 @ 6:36pm
      Caltex TEN & SBS support Australian Football said | July 4th 2017 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

      Great work SBS!

      SBS supports Australian Football. Looking forward to the broadcasts and the SBS football analysis team.

    • July 4th 2017 @ 9:03pm
      Worlds Biggest said | July 4th 2017 @ 9:03pm | ! Report

      Well done SBS, always do a great job.

    • July 4th 2017 @ 10:36pm
      AR said | July 4th 2017 @ 10:36pm | ! Report

      This is more disappointing news for the FFA. Yet another thing Gallop couldn’t sell.

      Yes it’s good for fans that SBS are broadcasting the games, but the real story here is that the FFA had to hand back the broadcasting rights to the promoter, Venues Live, because it couldn’t sell the matches to any of the networks. The FFA wont make a single dime from either broadcast, which is basically the point of these games and has been the case in previous years.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 5th 2017 @ 9:17am
        At work said | July 5th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        I’d argue that the fees paid by the FTA networks in the past were well over what these games were worth. Really why would 7, 9 or 10 pay big money for one night where they get ~200k viewers where they can’t insert many ads. There’s nothing in it for them as a one off.
        Add to that they also need to pay ~$80k to broadcast it means I think these games are a hard sell.

        SBS didn’t pay anything for this match either.

        FFA still gets ~$250k for each match so they’re still on top, but it goes back to my thinking of what’s the point of these… They’re nothing but showpieces to make the touring team a little richer and does nothing for the local team playing them.
        I’ll be watching the Syd FC match but won’t really care about a deep pre-season friendly. Bring on the FFA Cup instead!

        • July 5th 2017 @ 9:36am
          AR said | July 5th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

          Yeah I agree with that.

          Previous games may have been overvalued, but the FFA still used to sell them for about $1M. They were a big earner and this is a dramatic drop to zero.
          It’s yet another sellable product that Gallop/FFA couldn’t sell. That’s the key takeaway from this story in my opinion.

          I also agree that, more broadly, these games do no long term good for local ALeague sides. The touring teams pick up the extra petty cash, kick a sherrin, play before a dull crowd and are on their way.

          They have a place for sure, but the public (and broadcasters) has woken up a little since that 95k night with Liverpool at the G.

          • July 5th 2017 @ 9:46am
            Nemesis said | July 5th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

            “It’s yet another sellable product that Gallop/FFA couldn’t sell. That’s the key takeaway from this story in my opinion. ”

            How funny is this?

            The Event Promoter couldn’t sell the TV rights either. They’ve given the rights to SBS for ZERO. ZILCH. NADA.

            So, the organisation that is spending over $10m to bring Arsenal to Australia cannot find a way to market this match to the TV networks in Australia.

            As the adage goes: You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

            This is a practice match.
            Real football fans don’t value them at all.
            Now the TV networks are catching up with their valuation of practice matches.

          • July 5th 2017 @ 10:07am
            punter said | July 5th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

            I was there at the G with 100K watching the great Ronaldo (only time I had seen him live) only 2 seasons ago. There was another 90K crowd to watch Messi play this year at the G (I had seen him 6-7 years back at the G). There was 73K at the ANZ to see Liverpool play this year, so not sure about the public waking up on meaningless games.
            I also think the Arsenal games will also push 60-70K. My Arsenal fan mate going, taking his son, both seeing Arsenal live for 1st time.
            Of course understand why the TV watchers didn’t turn up, I can see Messi play every weekend on TV for meaningful games.

            • Roar Rookie

              July 5th 2017 @ 12:14pm
              At work said | July 5th 2017 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

              Punter there’s no doubt the crowds the last few years for these exhibition games have been huge. As these become more common, the casual fan will start to get sick of forking out large sums of money to watch a friendly between two teams that don’t care.

              I wonder who is going to tour next season and whether they’ll attract 70k+ at the MCG or 60k+ at ANZ, I’m doubtful.

              • July 5th 2017 @ 12:25pm
                Nemesis said | July 5th 2017 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

                If Bayern Munich, or Barcelona, came to Australia next year with all their 1st team players they’d fill any stadium in any city.

                Same with Real Madrid.
                I’d say the England National Team would also fill the stadium.

                Remember, these are practice matches.
                Can any other sport pull huge crowds for practice matches?

        • July 5th 2017 @ 9:53am
          Nemesis said | July 5th 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

          “They’re nothing but showpieces to make the touring team a little richer and does nothing for the local team playing them”


          They are PRACTICE MATCHES. Why do Aussies outside football find it hard to understand the concept of practice matches.

          The only difference between this practice match and WSW playing the local NPL team in a preseason practice match is that:

          1) the ALeague club involved pockets about 1/2 million dollars “appearance fee”
          2) FFA pockets $250k per match for allowing the match to be played.

          And, clueless sports fans in Australia outside the football community get all excited about celebrity footballers coming to Australia. And, AFL players act like love-struck groupies hanging around the big name footballers they see on the TV from overseas.

          No harm done. Every one wins.

          And, the matches can be a good way for Aussie players to showcase their talents. A teenager from Wangaratta, Seb Pasquali, impressed so much playing for MVFC during the Juventus practice match that AJAX signed him a few months later.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 5th 2017 @ 12:22pm
            At work said | July 5th 2017 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

            Nemesis there’s no huh about it.

            Lets not fool ourselves that these are practice matches, practice matches are where a coach will test out new formations, players, etc.
            These games exist for one reason; to sell casual fans of European teams overpriced tickets and buy merchandise. They’re end of season money making ventures.

            Agree that it’s a chance for our players to show what they can do against better opposition, such as Gersbach performing very well against Chelsea which would of contributed to him leaving us mid-season. But from a selfish point of view that wasn’t good for Syd FC.

            • July 5th 2017 @ 3:33pm
              Nemesis said | July 5th 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

              But, they are practice matches. Of course, no team likes to lose – hence, the Juve players were nervous during the penalty shoot out against MV & were disappointed when they lost.

              MV made 8 subs in the 2nd half; Juve made 9 subs.
              This only happens in practice matches when coaches want to try new players & new tactics.

              If you’re a Syd fan, you should be thrilled Gersbach got noticed. It mean European clubs value a player developed by SydFC. Think long term; not short term.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 5th 2017 @ 12:32pm
            At work said | July 5th 2017 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

            Not sure why you ask what other sports could pull those crowds, stop trying to incite code wars.

            Of course if Barcelona came they’d sell out any stadium, mostly agree with Real Madrid, don’t agree with Bayern Munich.

            But my point was that if we have the same teams coming every few years, the willingness of people to fork out big dollars for these will start to wane.

            • July 5th 2017 @ 12:39pm
              Nemesis said | July 5th 2017 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

              You hypothesised that the crowds have been falling. No doubt they have & will continue to do so.

              If no other sport can pull big crowds for practice matches, why is it an issue if crowds start falling.
              We should celebrate that we pulled big crowds for a few years; rather than sneer “crowds are falling”.

              I’m not surprised if people outside football don’t understand the marketing appeal of Bayern Munich.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 5th 2017 @ 1:12pm
                At work said | July 5th 2017 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

                I’m of the opinion that these games do more harm than good in converting European football fans to become A League supporters.

                So while it is nice that for a period of time throughout this decade the A League and some clubs make a bit of cash on the side, I don’t believe the damage it’s inflicting is worth it in the long-term.

                I think it’s pretty obvious that Bayern Munich or Real Madrid don’t have the marketing appeal that the 2 Spanish sides mentioned have. While they dominate the 2nd best league in the world, it doesn’t mean casual fans will pay $100-$200 to watch them play live.

              • July 5th 2017 @ 1:22pm
                Nemesis said | July 5th 2017 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

                @At Work

                What are you on about? You’re not making sense

                1) These events are not meant to convert football fans who watch football for celebrity players. These are practice matches designed to fleece money from gullible Aussies

                2) Depending on the opponent, ALeague clubs earn as much as $500,000 appearance fee to participate. This could mean the difference between a club making a profit instead of loss. It could mean a better marquee player for ALeague.

                I follow ALeague intimately. There is absolutely zero evidence these matches damage the ALeague? They’re played during the off-season.

                3) Bayern Munich is a German Club; Real Madrid is a Spanish club.

        • July 5th 2017 @ 9:59am
          punter said | July 5th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

          At work, I went to the Liverpool v SFC game with a friend (Liverpool fan), I went mainly as a mate, but also to see how we’d go against a top European side (we didn’t do that well), the game lacked atmosphere, meaningless yes, my mate was rattling facts to me about his beloved Liverpool all game & finally he hit me with the fact that this is the first time he’d seen Liverpool play live, after following this side on TV for over 45 years.
          He brought merchandise after the game too.

          This is why these games are played.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 5th 2017 @ 12:24pm
            At work said | July 5th 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

            Punter you hit the nail on the head, these games exist to sell ‘fans’ merchandise and overpriced tickets.

            • July 5th 2017 @ 2:11pm
              punter said | July 5th 2017 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

              100% agree, but you forgot those who also follow that team. My mate who stands (sits) with me every SFC game is going to the Arsenal game, he is an Arsenal fan, he & his family, did he go to Liverpool no.
              You kidding yourself if you think Barcelona or the England national team at Nemesis says would not fill the G or ANZ if they came out for a meaningless friendly next year.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 5th 2017 @ 2:31pm
            At work said | July 5th 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

            Typo to include RM with Bayern Munich as evidenced by saying “2 Spanish sides” in reference of Barcelona and RM.

            It’s damaging to the A League’s reputation as we can’t win in the Euro fan’s eye’s;
            1) Our team either performs well and wins and the excuse will be the travelling team wasn’t trying, they were fielding juniors, etc, or
            2) The A League team is completely outclassed and the Euro fan thinks the quality of the A League is rubbish.

            And yes we should be trying to convert these very people. If they’re willing to pay $100-$200 to watch a football match, they are the very people that we should target, which is the broader football community and not a casual sports fan who wouldn’t shell out that type of money for such a match.

            • July 5th 2017 @ 2:44pm
              Nemesis said | July 5th 2017 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

              @At Work

              As someone who is intimately involved with the ALeague, I can assure you…

              Any sports fan in Australia who is throwing paper aeroplanes when Liverpool, RM, Chelsea, etc. are playing is not a real Liverpool, RM, Chelsea fan.

              It just would not happen.

              Those people who go to these exhibition matches to throw paper aeroplanes are not, and never will be, interested in the ALeague. Even if they came to a game, they’d never come back.

              For sure, the real fans of Liverpool, RM, Chelsea are potential ALeague fans. Many of them already have an ALeague club (eg. Punter is RM fan and SydFC; MV fans are fans of LFC, Celtic, ManUtd, etc). The Euro club fans who don’t watch ALeague may one day start watching but I doubt it. They love their club back home. Just as when I work overseas, I still love my club back home in Australia.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 5th 2017 @ 2:57pm
                At work said | July 5th 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report


                Fair enough, I respect the point your making.
                But I’ve also had people in my office talk down about the A League quality after these matches and they’re the exact football supporters and weekend players/coaches that would be great if attended Syd FC or WSW matches.

        • July 5th 2017 @ 12:42pm
          pauli said | July 5th 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

          There’s a reason why the Japanese Football Association put an end to these tours in the Land of the Rising Sun.

          • July 5th 2017 @ 5:31pm
            Mark said | July 5th 2017 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

            I think we should do the same, or at least charge the touring teams prohibitively high costs for hosting them.

            I seriously cannot see how Australian football would be significantly disadvantaged in any way by ending these games (except for forgoing the small amount of cash currently earned from them). I’m not aware of any evidence that these games have any positive impact on interest in Australian football. Australian football fans don’t really care for them. The only people who may complain are the event goers and Eurosnobs who have no intention of giving Australian football any of their money.

            The FFA should either bleed these clubs dry for these games, so that they actually benefit Australian football, or put an end to them entirely.

    • Roar Rookie

      July 5th 2017 @ 5:27am
      Stevo said | July 5th 2017 @ 5:27am | ! Report

      Not so sure about ‘well done SBS’. According to Dominic Bossi, the FFA gave away their rights to the event so no money into their coffers. Looks like little cash available for these games. Why? Are FFA so inept?

      • July 5th 2017 @ 9:49am
        Caltex Ten & SBS support Australian Football said | July 5th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

        David Gallop, has to go down as the worst CEO of the FFA it has ever employed—on par with Ben Buckley, (perhaps a bit worse), both out of their depth governing football. The man is a disaster—the time has come for the FFA to bring in a passionate football person. Lyall Gorman, should be head hunted and given the lucrative salary Gallop receives.

      • July 5th 2017 @ 10:06am
        Midfielder said | July 5th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report


        If no one wants to buy something why is that the fault of the CEO

        So what your effectively saying is the promoter sets up a game and its the job of FFA not the promoter to sell it to TV networks…

        This is not an FFA game ..

        So when a promoter makes a mistake it is the fault of FFA…

        Hypothetical say the promoter sold the game for one million dollars the news item would have read … promoter shows Gallop how to sell to networks

        Next will be a story about how a local club purchases the wrong paper clips and tie that back to FFA…

        FFA have some huge issues nay mega massive issues …. but if we blame them for everything then others who mess up get away with it. and the mistakes will happen again..

        How the @#@$#$ is the failure by a promoter the fault of FFA

        If anything it shows the reluctance of the networks not to broadcast Football,,, that is the real story …

        BTW the 6:45 from Marayong was late this morning getting into Blacktown,,, Gallop fault for sure.

        • July 5th 2017 @ 10:24am
          Nemesis said | July 5th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

          Well said, Middy.

          I don’t know if it’s lack of business smarts, or just a default dislike of the FFA, that makes people unhinged about the role of the FFA.

          • July 5th 2017 @ 10:46am
            Midfielder said | July 5th 2017 @ 10:46am | ! Report


            I am getting over the Roar actually … since the new editor arrived the site IMO has gone down considerably … the collusion code posters are posting some stuff that would never have been allowed…

            We are also getting to be like 442, with many posters simply complain and complain and often about things they don’t know … I send an article in two days ago IMO the hottest topic in Football today and it has not been published… but it was not a code war article .

            We are starting to attack a certain types of posting styles which I don’t like…

            If my article does not appear tomorrow I make a final post for a while.

            Many of the sites best posters are no longer here or post far less and I think I know why.

            • July 5th 2017 @ 10:50am
              Nemesis said | July 5th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

              Totally agree. This is no longer a website for informed football discourse. Too many people who are clueless about football now disrupt every conversation. I’ve written a few articles over the past 9 months to stimulate people to think outside the box & try to find solutions, but I doubt I’ll do it again.

            • Roar Rookie

              July 5th 2017 @ 11:11am
              Grobbelaar said | July 5th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

              Don’t worry about it guys, football discourse is substantially about whinging and complaining, always has been. If we’re not complaining about administration, we’re complaining about FIFA, or refs, or bad recruitment decisions or under-performing players – there’s always something to complain about! 🙂

      • July 5th 2017 @ 10:51am
        Midfielder said | July 5th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        I remember it was a huge event I think 2005 Dominic Bossi, wrote a positive article about FFA …. go read the guys articles I challenge anyone in the 12 years of Hal to get his positives news stories about 5% ..

        But he writes glowing reports about how successful the NSL was and how FFA could learn lessons the NSL…

      • July 5th 2017 @ 11:23am
        Midfielder said | July 5th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report


        One of the reasons I so want 10 on board … get some positive media at last … I sometimes wonder why journalist like Dominic Bossi are so anti FFA and so pro the NSL…. we have major problems there is no doubt FIFA may even step in… but to essentially say its FFA’s job to promote a game that’s not theirs and is the promoters is IMO beyond the beyond in journalism falsehoods .

        I do sometimes believe there is an old guard who so dislike FFA so much they will drive stories like this when they know they are wrong…. IMO its agenda driven this is the same guy on the day of the last WCQ wrote a story about why Kruse and Troisi should not be in the Australian team and how poor FFA where in understanding Football… like the day of the match this was … nothing about the match just constant and never ending negative articles about FFA & Gallop and this feeds social media as well…

        • July 5th 2017 @ 5:44pm
          Mark said | July 5th 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

          For some of the old NSL guard, the sour grapes are indeed still very sour.

      • July 5th 2017 @ 11:51am
        Caltex Ten & SBS support Australian Football said | July 5th 2017 @ 11:51am | ! Report

        Stevo – still well done by SBS, in my view and you will see it on the night of the TV broadcast.

        Gallop, doesn’t do his home work and this causes immense problems for football. The game that the ABC2 televised did enormous harm to the product and after that debacle, no mainstream TV station wants to touch these fixtures ever again.

        Could you ever imagine, SBS, treating football in the same manner as ABC2 did—never in a million years.

        So now it’s up to SBS, to reverse the damage, which Gallop and ABC2 between them have caused. But what could you expect from an organisation and a man who have no feeling or track record, of what Football requires, in regard of good governance and good football analysis.

        Lyall Gorman, please come back to the football family—we desperately need you and SBS, to fix the damage Gallop and ABC2 have caused us.

      • July 5th 2017 @ 5:42pm
        Mark said | July 5th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

        Nonsense like this from the anti-FFA brigade makes it hard to take them seriously even when they have reasonable complaints.

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