Fox confirms soccer coverage under review

Ed Jackson

The future of the FFA's broadcast deal with Fox Sports remains clouded as the pay TV operator confirmed it is reviewing its coverage of Australian football.

Fans took to social media on Wednesday after noticing all A-League and W-League features and highlights were no longer available on streaming service Kayo Sports or other on-demand platforms.

"With no live football content, we are currently reviewing our Australian football offering," a Fox Sports spokesperson told AAP.

The development came just a day after FFA announced the A-League would resume following a COVID-19 shutdown on July 16.

The exact schedule is yet to be released with the organising body in discussions with Fox Sports about how the remainder of the 2019-20 season will be broadcast.

Currently the broadcaster has a $57 million-a-year deal with FFA to broadcast the A-League and W-League as well as Socceroos and Matildas matches.

The Australian Financial Review is reporting Foxtel is using a clause in its contract regarding the non-delivery of games for 20 days to allow it to walk away or renegotiate the deal.

"We continue to be in discussion with Football Federation Australia about their plan for the resumption of the A-League season on 16 July," the spokesperson said.

The deal was set to expire in 2023 but it seems unlikely any renegotiated agreement will extend that long.

An option believed to be on the table is a proposal for Fox to broadcast the remainder of the 2019-20 season and the 2020-21 campaign before terminating its agreement.

It's understood that proposal would save Fox the cost of the final two years of the contract but give FFA time to acquire a new broadcast agreement.

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in Fox renegotiating its broadcast agreements with the NRL and AFL as well as FFA.

While an agreement with the AFL has reportedly not been reached over an extension of that deal, a five-year extension with the NRL worth a reported $200 million-per-season was signed off last month.

The pay TV network has also signed a deal to show the revised Super Rugby campaign with five Australian teams, though its long-term commitment to rugby union remains unclear.

FFA head of leagues Greg O'Rourke said on Tuesday he talks between Fox and FFA were "progressing well".