Network 10 and Paramount Plus pick up FA Cup broadcast rights in Australia, could the Premier League be next?
Network 10 have confirmed they have acquired the broadcast rights to the FA Cup for the 2021-22 campaign.
Their coverage of the historic competition will kick off on November 7, 2021 with games to be shown on Network 10 and new streaming service Paramount Plus.
In conjunction with parent company ViacomCBS, 10 have invested heavily in the sport recently having picked up all available Australian football rights including the A-Leagues, FFA Cup and non-World Cup matches involving the Matildas and Socceroos.
Their latest acquisition of the FA Cup is their first foray into foreign football rights and suggests they could be looking at making a bid for the English Premier League as well.
The current deal for the EPL, held by Optus Sport, expires at the end of this season with ViacomCBS seen as one of four serious candidates to land the competition.
The Sydney Morning Herald recently reported that a blind auction in November will decide who gets the Premier League rights moving forward with Amazon Prime and Stan Sport also in the frame to challenge Optus.
With Australian football rights sewn up, tapping into Australian fans of other leagues has been previously touted as one way to grow the A-Leagues fan base moving forward.
“I’ve always said I don’t need to go out and convince a 45-year-old rugby union fan to suddenly love football or the A-League for that matter,” Australian Professional Leagues (APL) managing director Danny Townsend said via a Sports Pro video conference in July.
“What I want to focus on is the Liverpool fan that’s never been to an A-League game and based on COVID isn’t going to Anfield anytime soon to get their live football fix.
“So how do we do that? We’ve got to be adjacent, we’ve got to give them a chance to taste our version of the game…”
With the FA Cup and FFA Cup now to be broadcast in the same place, it would seem the APL are on their way to achieving just that.
Leicester City are the reigning FA Cup champions with the first round proper to kick off on the first weekend in November.
WRITTEN BY JOSH THOMAS