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Derbies headed for FTA television: report

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/12/2016 Ben McKay

The A-League's biggest matches - including derbies - are headed for free-to-air television under a reported new broadcast deal.

News Corp reported on Sunday that Fox Sports will this week extend its coverage of the Australian football competition into the next broadcast cycle.

But FFA will cut SBS out of the deal, which broadcasts one Friday night A-League match a week, and instead look to a commercial network to screen the marquee Saturday night match each round.

Fox Sports has first and last bidding rights for the A-League, and will use those to gazump Optus, which sensationally won the rights to the English Premier League in Australia earlier this year.

The report by News Corp, which owns Fox Sports, suggests an annual fee of around $50 million - up from the existing $32.2 million - will switch hands.

FFA chief executive David Gallop previously set his stall to make $80 million from the rights, which would have doubled the current deal.

It's a figure the league is now unlikely to achieve, with negotiations to on-sell a package to free-to-air players likely to take place after the conclusion of the Big Bash League broadcast talks.

Those talks are set for early next year, with the A-League season to begin in October.

FFA are hopeful that one of Channel Seven, the Nine Network and Ten will swoop on the A-League rights - depending on whoever misses out the Big Bash League rights.

Fox Sports has broadcast the A-League from its creation in 2005.

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