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SBD Global/October 9, 2013/Media

A-League Moves To Fill Domestic Cricket Gap On ABC Radio With Live Match Coverage

Football has been quick to fill the gap left by domestic cricket on ABC Radio, "announcing that every A-League match will have live coverage on the public broadcaster," according to Chloe Saltau of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Football Federation Australia "has signed a four-year deal with the ABC, which includes live coverage of the A-League on local and digital radio, the ABC's phone app and streaming on the Grandstand website." This is a major coup for football, a summer rival of cricket, and follows a warning from ABC Managing Dir Mark Scott to Cricket Australia "not to take the public broadcaster for granted." FFA CEO David Gallop described the football deal as "a breakthrough into mainstream media." Gallop said, "The national radio broadcaster adds significantly to our reach at a time when audiences for the A-League are booming and there's a massive surge in interest in football" (SMH, 10/9). In Sydney, Margie McDonald wrote "Gallop's vision for soccer to rattle the cages of established football and other sporting codes in Australia is turning into a reality." Gallop: "Our aim is always to continue on our path to being the largest and most popular sport in the country. So to be broadcast on the ABC over summer is a breakthrough moment for us, not only in the terms of the accessibility it creates for our fans, but for the message that it sends in Australian sport." Gallop's links with former National Rugby League Dir Katie Page "helped secure the deal that will help fund the first free-to-air coverage for A-League and other initiatives" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/9).

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