Does Delayed TV Sport Make Sense In The Age Of Twitter?

Does Delayed TV Sport Make Sense In The Age Of Twitter?

SBS has signed a four-year deal to broadcast Hyundai A-League soccer matches, marking the first time the game has been broadcast on free-to-air television. But with finals on a one-hour delay, how will fans avoid finding out details of the matches in advance?

Picture by Paul Kane/Getty Images

Under the deal announced today, SBS will broadcast one match a week live, on Friday nights, and screen a weekly highlights show, though that will not happen until the 2013-2014 season. Other matches will continue to be broadcast on pay TV provider Foxtel, which has shown the A-League since its inception in 2005.

The tricky detail comes with the broadcasts the finals series and grand final. These will be shown on SBS, but with a one-hour delay, while Foxtel will have them live. If you want to watch the SBS broadcast, you’ll need to cut yourself off from social media to avoid spoilers.

That’s not a massive imposition, but it still feels a little strange to have a delayed broadcast for a local sport. Any hardcore soccer fans will presumably already have a Foxtel subscription, and perhaps Foxtel is hoping that after a season where the finals are all delayed, soccer fans freshly primed by SBS will sign up. Time will tell. What are your thoughts?


  • It doesn’t make sense to delay anything these days, if you can match the internet dont bother, its why this soccer deal is stupid, its way a large number of people will continue to download tv shows even if they air “hours” after the origin country and so on

    • It really gets me that someone can’t wait “hours” or even a day or two to watch a show, instead they’d rather do the wrong thing (illegally) What gets me even more is people that download a show or movie and rave on about how good it is, tell all their friends they’ve seen it and about how much they love it, but never spend a single cent supporting it. Stupidity at its best.

      On topic, sport live or GTFO, there is no excuses this day and age. Especially in finals.

  • AFL has been shown on delay since the dawn of time. When it’s my team playing I impose a strict “media blackout” in my household.

    On another note, I did also notice this year channel 7 pushing their hash-tag and claiming to be “live and interactive” during a delayed telecast.

    • They always say it is Live in WA when we all know they would not still be playing footy at midnight annoys me but i tend to get the scores on my mobile anyway.

  • At least they show some football free-to-air now. This should bring a few more followers to the sport; I think it is too little though but hopefully not too late.

  • Tha’ts the thing – a lot of fans do not have foxtel. They’ve been screaming for years for this.

    Football is a lot easier to watch on delay because a lot of discussion is around player performances in the match, which is often conflicted over Twitter. It’s actually in my opinion the only sport available to watch on delay and still get a good time watching it. Not as good but there’s room for it.

    In addition, FFA have to be able to show the World Cup qualifiers on FTA due to those stupid sport broadcast laws, nothing about them having to give them to SBS etc. In return for putting them on a delay and showing them for Foxtel who gives more money to FFA (which is a valid point you raise) the get 1 live friday night slot.

    They could have easily stuffed SBS over and given them to Channel 7 for free who would do nothing with them and put them at 1am slots.

    • SBS paid for the rights…

      I’m happy to watch other teams games on an hour delay, but if Heart’s playing in a final i’ll be at the pub watching that one.

    • Which AFL fans do you know that are happy with that ?! It’s live every Friday night in QLD, on the Main event channel, even when it’s not live in Melbourne.

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