FFA TV is 'good to go'
The response to the proposal that Football Federation Australia (FFA) manage its own content and create a ‘FFA TV’ Over-the-Top (OTT) streaming service has been gathering momentum, according to co-founder of The Golden Generation, Craig Moore.
The Golden Generation, which was established by the group of Socceroos who played at the 2006 World Cup, is an independent group advocating on securing the future of the game.
“Since we raised this as a possibility on a TV talk show, and released our discussion paper on Making the Most of Our Biggest Asset last month, we have been really encouraged by the feedback from the local football community in support of it, as well as hearing from a variety of providers who can actually do it.
“It’s not as if the FFA TV concept is something out-of-the-ordinary,” Moore said.
“Anyone with kids knows that they’re born with the internet in their hands and are fully accustomed to getting entertainment on any screen.
“We get that it can be an alarming prospect for the business model of the traditional broadcasters and they may downplay the idea of it, but the facts are that football fans want to see more quality content at their fingertips, and at times they want to see it.
“The idea of ‘FFA TV’ may be a disruptor locally, but it’s not internationally.”
With their wide web of international networks across a number of countries, The Golden Generation have been contacted by a large number of OTT providers.
Moore said those he and other co-founders have heard from include the likes of Cluch, DAZN, Dugout, Grabyo, Eleven Sports, Pixellot, Singular.Live , Spalk TV as well as local players such as LIGR and Optus.
“These organisations have the technology and the know-how. They’re not starting from scratch because they’re already doing it in sport elsewhere,” Moore said.
“For example, Dugout works with the likes of AC Milan, Arsenal, Barcelona, Juventus, Liverpool, PSG and has partnerships around the world.
“The OTT market is getting bigger everyday and we see the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Apple TV+, as well as legacy companies such as Disney and Warner, all investing in OTT capability.
Moore said that the worldwide trend is for legacy pay TV services such as Fox Sports, which has been the FFA’s broadcast partner for 15 years, to invest only in what they see as ‘tier 1’ sports.
“In Australia, it seems they don’t see football as tier 1.
“As we always say, they’re entitled to their opinion, but they are wrong. We are not a tier 2 sport.
“We offer competition – or ‘content’ - from grassroots to elite, from local to national and international, from age 5 to adult, men and women. There is something for everyone, and we cover every demographic of consumer who plays, watches and loves our game.”
Moore also said that with so many journalists, TV producers and commentators increasingly out of work, there is scope for football to have its own, bespoke production company.
“We’re saying to the FFA and A-League clubs that it’s time to be bold and not be stuck in 20th century thinking or broadcast models.”
The Golden Generation’s discussion paper also proposes that access to an OTT FFA TV should be included in the registration fee for junior players as a means of giving something back to the game.
“In some states, for every little kid who plays, more than $100 of their registration fee is split between their local Association, their state federation and FFA. We’d like to see them get something in return.”