A-League needs its own ‘On Demand’ service to fully prosper in Australia

Today I am writing to express my opinion on the state of the A-League’s lack of On Demand availability.

Before the start of the current A-League season, FFA CEO David Gallop stated “Football will become the largest and most popular sport in this country.”

High hopes, coming from a sport that is far behind AFL, NRL and cricket in popularity.

AFL is easily the premier sport in Australia, with teams all around Australia, ordinary mid-year games getting in excess of 50,000 people in the stands and it even has it’s own channel on Foxtel (Fox Footy).

AFL is in the spotlight all year round. The NRL has a massive following in Australia as well, with State of Origin being the biggest draw card of the year.

The A-League is in it’s ninth season and is gaining more popularity as the quality of the games have improved and bigger marquee players join the competition.

The A-League have made a big step into a new market with one free-to-air game being shown on SBS every Friday night.

This is a step in the right direction. Fox Sports definitely have helped the A-League become what it is today and without it, I don’t know if it could have survived.

I am not a Foxtel subscriber as I cannot afford it and wouldn’t I wouldn’t get my money’s worth if I was to sign up.

I had subscribed (but have now cancelled) to Foxtel Play to only watch the A-League on my iPad.

$50 a month is what Foxtel are asking and for me, that is too much to pay when I watch maybe two or three games if that, a week.

It’s not Foxtel’s fault that I can’t watch the A-League. They provide a service and it’s up to me, the user to utilise it.

I would like to see the A-League provide an On-Demand subscription service like the NRL, NFL, NBA and NHL utilise.

I am currently subscribed to NFL Game Pass and I paid around $220 for a full season.

That gives me full access to every game live and on demand and even a condensed version that shows every play.

You can watch on multiple devices and laptops. The NBA and NHL offer similar packages.

Now I know the USA is completely different environment with over 330 million people, so they have a larger audience and can invest a lot more money into this avenue.

The NRL and AFL both had their respective Apps where you would pay $90 for a full season with all games being shown live or on delay.

That is a lot cheaper than Pay TV.

Cricket Australia has even released an App this year where you can watch all games live for $20! Granted, all the cricket is on Channel Nine for free, but a lot of people can’t always get to a TV.

I believe the A-League needs to get into this market if they ever truly want to gain on their competitors.

I know I wouldn’t be the only one who would sign-up in a heartbeat for a subscription for just the A-League, with an option to watch games on demand.

As we all know, the weekends are usually the busiest times in our week and i’d love to be able to go out with friends on Saturday night and wake up on Sunday morning and watch the replay of the Saturday night’s games.

Instead if I have plans when a game is on, too bad. There’s no chance to catch-up.

The A-League is an emerging code in Australia and I believe they need to catch-up with other codes if they ever truly want to get a bigger slice of the pie.