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RF

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There is nothing, nothing at all, to support your second sentence. Unfortunately.

Six talking points from A-League Round 22

Jordan, seriously, that doesn’t stand up for a nano second. If it did, we wouldn’t have crisis impending about the next broadcasting deal and the need to fund the A League through tv money.

Six talking points from A-League Round 22

The synchronicity is well beyond coincidence, MF.

Six talking points from A-League Round 22

Perhaps the fact that Fox has withheld the 5 million they promised for an extra team simply because Western United’s name does not include “Melbourne” should tell you something about how Fox sees the A League as a commercial proposition.

Six talking points from A-League Round 22

Definitely. Therein lies the pinprick of light in the tunnel – that Optus will see a case for pairing the two competitions again.

The problem here is that Optus only buy, package and onsell to subscribers the EPL. And it’s great coverage – I struggle to find time for a full game, and the mini match format is perfect for me.

With A League, Optus would have to either go into partnership with, say, a network would produce the content, or do it themselves. I believe the latter is highly unlikely. Production is not Optus’s business and I really can’t see the company going this way. It’s expensive and highly specialised, and opens them up to a lot more risk. So that leaves a partnership with a broadcaster.

Or, I suppose, there is a third way – that the A League produces its own content and onsells to Optus. Very hard to see this happening, but not impossible if production was subcontracted to a specialist OB company.

Six talking points from A-League Round 22

No, David, I don’t think so. Anyway, whatever the expectations are, that’s the benchmark. Very clearly the HAL isn’t meeting expectations because people are walking away in significant numbers.

Make no mistake, on current viewing figures, we will be lucky if Fox offers half the current deal. It’s more likely that they will walk away. It is imperative that the metrics improve next season.

Six talking points from A-League Round 22

They do own the A League in a way, JK, because their money is the only reason it exists, and no one else has shown any interest.

How do you expect them to behave? They are investing huge amounts of cash in a product that isn’t even close to justifying the investment and declining in value precipitously.

Six talking points from A-League Round 22

Further to my last comment, I think the League has reached a tipping point, where Fox will decide that it will not offer a new tv deal. I suspect that tipping point may have come with these latest ratings. The seriousness of a situation where a game featuring the A League leaders is outrated by NBL, comfortably by rugby, and by a factor of 14 by NRL cannot be overstated.
Just how far the ratings would need to increase to make the A League commercially viable to a broadcaster I cannot say, but surely 23000 for the League leaders is below that level.
Hardly anyone is watching on the games on television. If FFA drags its heels on an independent A League, they will kill the competition, because empowering the owners to spend the cash needed to save the A League is the only way from here.

Six talking points from A-League Round 22

“seriously – how do people not love this competition? It literally has everything”
But there lies the rub. The competition most certainly doesn’t have everything, most notably quality football. The quality players are, in general, too old, which is they are here, and a large factor in our clubs not being able to compete in the ACL. The Australian players are lacking in skills and, for the most part, pace and athleticism too, which again is shown up in the ACL. The squads are packed with uninspiring journeymen. The coaches are barely adequate apart from Popa and, on the evidence so far, Rudan.
Ratings are off a cliff. I believe that Perth’s game rated 23000, outrated by NBL and rugby. The comparable NRL game rated over 300,000, I understand. The idea that A League viewers have migrated en masse to the streaming services is a self serving myth.
This is not a League that has everything, Karlo. This is a League that is measurably failing to attract an audience. If it had everything, the ratings wouldn’t look like a train wreck. High scoring games between poor quality teams are not a solution.
It is very unfortunate that the biggest drag on the A League this season has been Melbourne City, the one club with the resources to be exactly the opposite. I say this with caution, but I think that Joyce is the worst coach I have seen in action at professional level.

Six talking points from A-League Round 22

I respect MT’s commitment to calling it as he sees it. Mostly, I think he’s on the money. However, in this case, I do think that Fadida has called out some significant flaws in his arguments.

Most A-League players can't compete in Asia. Why shoot the messenger?

Mark, look at the ages
Honda, Toiv, and LeF all 32
Nino 34
Brosque 35

And I’m going to refer directly to the elephant in the room regarding Honda – he has lost a LOT of pace. He is not the player he was.

These are all players well past their peak.

Most A-League players can't compete in Asia. Why shoot the messenger?

Agree that the 14 teams no cap and fees is a minimum.
Agree also on the importance of stadiums but sadly that is well out reach for Brisbane, Sydney, the Jets and Phoenix. And Victory as long as they continue to play at Docklands.
Also agree on the timeframe – the problem is that we have the ticking clock of the tv deal and thus the money… we can’t afford to wait.
And here of course FFA has been an unmitigated disaster. I cannot recall ever seeing such a long running display of utter incompetence in a commercial arena.
By every one of his beloved metrics, Gallop has presided over a precipitous decline in the value of the A League. It is beyond comprehension that he is still in the job.

Most A-League players can't compete in Asia. Why shoot the messenger?

Hard to disagree with any of this.

Berisha must be 35 or so now. He was at retirement age when he left. I was very surprised that he was signed at all.

Fad, for many years I though things here could change, but I’ve seen nothing so far. The crush from NRL, Union and AFL is crippling football. I don’t know what the answer is. I’m no longer even sure that there is one.

Most A-League players can't compete in Asia. Why shoot the messenger?

There’ll be no chickens left anyway, so I see rolling the dice as the only option.

The A-League's salary cap has outlived its usefulness

Thoroughly unexciting lineup.

The Roar's A-League expert tips and predictions: Round 22

This is the way the season ends
Not with a bang but a whimper

Sydney FC fall to late goal in Japan

I have never looked forward to a finals series with less anticipation.

Will Adelaide United make the finals?

Off topic, but this from Pierce Waring is absolutely damning of Victory under Muscat, and indeed the A League in general. I used to be inclined to dismiss this kind of stuff from players, but it has become so consistent in terms of what they all say when they leave, that it has to be believed.

“My time at Melbourne Victory was really good but it was one session a day and quite relaxed,” he said.

“It was about 45 minutes to 90 max and then after midday you had the afternoon off.

“At Cerezo it’s two or three sessions every single day. You’re at the club from 8.30 in the morning and you get home at 5pm.

“During pre-season we trained at 6.45am, 9.30am and 3.30pm. The early session was a 7 kilometre cross country run.

“Then a conditioning session involving short sprints and later in the day a technical session.”

Eat, sleep, repeat – welcome to fitness conditioning, Cerezo-style. A far cry from Victory, with Dutch winger Leroy George famously describing his time there as more holiday camp than boot camp.

“It was hell during pre-season but when you come out of it and play actual games it almost feels relaxed,” added Waring.

“Back in Australia after a game I felt absolutely stuffed but in Japan after a match it just feels like a normal session.”

Will Adelaide United make the finals?

Diawara goes the top of the list of non event marquees for me.

Jardel, awful, yes, but at least he was gone fast. Diawara has been draining cash from AU for how many years now?

What an utter waste of money.

Will Adelaide United make the finals?

Frankly, the idea of Ten throwing serious weight behind the A League as mainstream programming could only be believed by the kind of people who think that Kubrick faked the film of the moon landings.

What will A-League expansion mean for the A-League TV deal?

Nick, to be blunt, I would not believe anything coming out of FFA under the current management, least of all their interpretation of viewing figures.

What will A-League expansion mean for the A-League TV deal?

Why on earth would Ten want to ramp up their tie in with the A League with the ratings in free fall?
There is nothing to suggest that there is an appetite among the broader public for watching the game on television. And let’s face it – most (MOST not ALL) the football this season has been the equivalent of swallowing a fistful of Dame Edna’s moggies.
The A League would have be totally rebooted with the salary cap gone and genuine marquees for this to have even a remote chance of coming off.
Anyone who thinks that there is any possibility of anything but a reduced offer from Fox next time round needs to see someone about medication, because unless the ratings rise by more than the amount they have fallen since this deal was signed, nothing but a half to two thirds offer – if any offer at all – will be forthcoming.
The faint light at the end of the tunnel is that handing over the running of the League to the clubs will deliver all these things. The owners obviously have a massive vested interest in keeping the League operating but, my word, they have some work to do over the next two seasons, and improving the quality of the marquees and the playing squads in general has to be the starting point. And that can’t be done with the cap. I’m not going to point out individual players, but I think we could all quite easily come up with a list of players who have been round and round the clubs and should not be anywhere near a match day squad but somehow still are.
Make no mistake, the salary cap is the biggest problem the A League has, closely followed by clubs playing out of carvernous outsize stadiums (the biggest issue for both Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar, but seemingly unsolvable for both) that kills the game on television. Not much can be done about the second, but getting rid of the cap can be done, and immediately. Control what we can, and manage what we can’t.

What will A-League expansion mean for the A-League TV deal?

Well, it’s hardly the success story the Melbourne head office would like. Even you would have to admit that.

Have the A-League's ratings tanked because people no longer watch TV?

This is pure guesswork, obviously. Also, Fox would have a number of factors to offset against this income, including considerable production costs.

Only Fox know whether the numbers stack up, and their attempt to withhold the 5 million for the new team suggests the numbers most certainly do not look good.

Have the A-League's ratings tanked because people no longer watch TV?

You’ve nailed it – FTA is going for long run formats that depend on almost live broadcast (at most a narrow window from events to broadcast) lowest common denominator shows that can be made very cheaply. The kind of stuff that streaming services aren’t interested in (yet).

Have the A-League's ratings tanked because people no longer watch TV?