A-League avoids total embarrassment after broadcast partner goes belly up by StuffsEarth

Estimated read time 12 min read

UPDATED: The A-Leagues’ organisers are reeling again with their broadcast partner going into administration.

Former broadcasters NEP stepped in to bail out the A-Leagues as the competitions were in danger of an Easter weekend TV blackout after this season’s production partners Global Advance were placed into voluntary administration.

The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) were forced into a scramble on Tuesday when Global Advance (GA) notified them of their inability to produce broadcasts of this weekend’s matches and their intention to enter into administration.

A deal with NEP was finalised late Thursday hours before Central Coast Mariners and Western United met in A-League Women. 

“We have reached agreement with NEP Australia to produce all A-League Men and A-League Women matches for the remainder of the regular season and the 2024 final series,” the APL said in a statement on Thursday.

“We thank them for their cooperation, flexibility and expertise at such short notice.” 

Unlike most other codes in Australia, the A-Leagues pay roughly $12 million for the production of their games which are then broadcast on Network Ten and Paramount+.

GA was founded in 2021 and the deal with the A-Leagues was its first major contract, the latter hoping that partnering with a start-up would help lessen costs. 

The APL is believed to be up to $1 million out of pocket after already agreeing to advance payments to GA before it was placed into administration. 

“We are disappointed in the manner in which this has come to our attention, and the risk this has placed on our fan, player, club, broadcast and commercial commitments,” the APL said in a statement released late on Wednesday.

“We have been let down, and will be working with the administrators to recoup monies owing to APL.” 

The APL has endured a tough year with several public relations disasters. It made half of its workforce redundant, decimated its digital arm and KeepUp app and website, and faces financial issues at several clubs.

As part of their broadcast contract with Ten-Paramount, the APL are responsible for the production of A-League matches. There have been issues over coverage standards – and the poor quality of the Paramount experience.

The APL has been unable to guarantee that matches will be shown as per schedule, but are “confident” they will be.

“Through a lot of hard work by a new production company, Ten-Paramount, and our team, we are close to finalising an agreement and are confident all matches will be broadcast, starting (Thursday),” an APL spokesman said.

“There are many challenges that such a short time frame presents, but we are working through this urgently with all of our stakeholders, and we thank the production company for their co-operation, flexibility and expertise at such short notice.

“Finally, we want to acknowledge all of the great staff at GA, along with their suppliers, that have been impacted by this. They have played a big role in bringing A-Leagues football to screens over the past few years and we are thinking of them through this tough time.”

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