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?