TV streaming in focus as A-League support grows in 2021

Soccer ball at feet

Support for teams in Australia’s A-League soccer competition has seen an increase, research from Roy Morgan has shown, which, given recent trends, could further the growth of sports streaming services. The increase in supporters over the last year has partly been attributed to Aussies being in front of the TV during lockdowns. 

A similar report this year suggested increased sports streaming subscriptions increased in line with AFL club memberships rising. 

The latest figures show more than 3.6 million Australians identify as supporters of an A-League men’s team, up more than 1 million from a year ago. Sydney FC topped the A-League supporter ladder with their 640,000 fans, an increase of 32% on a year ago.

While those numbers don’t correlate with membership numbers of the clubs, over 1.5 million Australians watch the men’s A-League competition on TV. A much larger 3.5 million Australians were noted as having watched a soccer match on television, meaning there is a much larger market the A-League could potentially tap into.

This is where sports-centric TV services may be set to expand.  

The A-League earlier this year signed a new 5-year domestic rights partnership with ViacomCBS, that will see the league’s games broadcast on the Network Ten commercial channel and also streamed on the company’s Paramount+ service. 

Alongside the A-League, Paramount+ will also stream the W-League, the Matilda’s friendly internationals and the Socceroos friendly internationals among other soccer competitions. The platform’s venture into sporting offerings allow it to compete with other sports streaming services such as Kayo, as well as traditional VOD services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. 

Kayo’s biggest competitor in the sports streaming market has been Optus Sport, who have the rights to the English Premier League. With Paramount+ entering the market, the sports streaming game may become more closely contended. Kayo Sports had over 1.1 million active users as of June this year. 

The average stream of a sporting event can be intensive on a home broadband plan, with an average two-hour stream consuming around 7GB of data for HD or 5GB for SD. For sports streaming, it’s recommended users have available internet speeds of at least 1.5mbps for standard definition or 6mbps for high definition.

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