TEN Sports has signed a three-year deal to broadcast Australia's premier football league, the Hyundai A-League.
The league, which is run by the Football Federation of Australia (FFA), has 10 teams, nine from Australia and one from New Zealand. TEN Sports will showcase 86 matches per season including the five games of the Final Series playoffs.
The channel will also broadcast weekly highlights of the league and 10 games of the FFA Cup for each of the three seasons. TEN will broadcast the league across the TEN Network on TEN Action, TEN Sports and TEN HD with live streaming on tensports.com in the Indian sub-continent.
World Sport Group, which distributes the Hyundai A-League and FFA Cup worldwide on behalf of the FFA, brokered the TEN Sports deal.
Rajesh Sethi, CEO, TEN Sports, says, "At TEN Sports we endeavour to give our viewers the best of football action from across the globe and we are proud to add the A-League and the FFA Cup to our bouquet of premier football content. Australian football has grown leaps and bounds and offers to TEN Sports and TEN Action a different dimension to the existing portfolio."
This football programming will be available live during the day time on weekends.
Sethi adds that the channel will closely work to promote the A-League, its teams and players across the Indian sub-continent. "We also take this opportunity to wish the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) and the Australian National Team the best for the World Cup in Rio."
Expressing his delight, David Gallop, CEO, FFA says, "This is fantastic news for Australian football and deepens our engagement with the Asian region. The A-League is in the top three professional competitions in Asia for playing standard and sporting entertainment, and there's a growing audience in the region keen to follow our clubs and marquee players."
"I thank TEN Sports for their commitment to the A-League and we look forward to connecting with football fans in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Australian football is enjoying a huge period of growth and that's reflected in our global TV reach, which includes important broadcasters in Europe, North America and Asia," Gallop adds.
For the record, each season of the Hyundai A-League runs from October to April and includes a 27-round regular season with an end-of-season finals series playoff tournament involving the highest-placed teams, culminating in the Grand Final.
Winners from the A-League qualify for the AFC Champions League which is the UEFA Champions League equivalent in Asia. The league allows each team to have a marquee player and this has led to stars like Alessandro Del Piero, Shinji Ono and Emile Heskey showcasing their skills in this "fast-growing" league.
TEN Network claims to reach over 140 million households across the Indian sub-continent. TEN Action, launched in April 2012, is a football-centric channel broadcasting the best of world football from across the globe including the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa league, UEFA Super Cup, French League, I league, Brazilian League, Skybet Football League, Capital One Cup, Copa Del Rey, German Cup, Coppa Italia and Club TV programming.