Finally, some sense for fans of the round ball game. While Foxtel retains the rights to most Hyundai A-League matches, having one screen on free-to-air TV where previously there was none can but only help the game as it seeks to expand its influence nationally. The inclusion of the Socceroos games is also very smart – well played to all concerned. From the press release:

SBS has secured the exclusive free-to-air TV rights for the Hyundai A-League in a four year broadcasting deal with Football Federation Australia (FFA).

SBS will also broadcast the Qantas Socceroos FIFA World Cup Qualifiers effective immediately. The agreement sees SBS become the official free-to-air broadcast partner of the FFA. SBS’s coverage of the Hyundai A-League will commence from the 2013-14 season and will be the first time the A-League is broadcast on free-to-air TV since the competition’s inception.

Under the agreement, SBS has the rights to:
• One LIVE Hyundai A-League match per week on a Friday night;
• All Hyundai A-League Finals Series matches on a one hour delay;
• The Hyundai A-League Grand Final on a one hour delay;
• A weekly highlights show;
• Online and mobile rights including simultaneous streaming and highlights; and
• Radio rights.

SBS will broadcast the Qantas Socceroos FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on a one hour delay.

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said:
“SBS has always championed the sports which unite communities and the world and with football being the world’s biggest game it is fitting that the A-League and Socceroos will now have a free-to-air presence on SBS, building on our strong football pedigree. A story of media, sans frontiers. By broadcasting in more languages than any other network in the world, by steadfastly pursuing and reflecting diversity in everything we do, SBS aims to make all Australians feel embraced and included, regardless of the language they speak at home. Tearing down language barriers: all part of the service.”

“This agreement is exciting news for football fans across the country and will give all Australians access to the A-League and the Socceroos. We are proud to be part of this new partnership which will help take the domestic game in Australia to the next level.”

“The broadcast of the Socceroos will complement SBS’s FIFA World Cup coverage which SBS has the rights to all editions up to and including 2022.”

SBS Head of Sport Ken Shipp said:
“SBS is the spiritual home of football in Australia and our passion, dedication and football expertise is unrivalled. We are excited to continue to grow the game in Australia through this new partnership and deliver the high standard of coverage for which SBS is known across all our platforms, including on-air, online and mobile devices.”

SBS will broadcast the next Qantas Socceroos FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Oman in Sydney from 8:00pm Tuesday 26 March 2013 on SBS ONE.