ABC Television will screen major matches from the biggest football tournament staged in Australia, the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015, after signing an agreement with national rights holder Fox Sports.
The deal means Asia’s premier tournament, which will be broadcast to a global TV audience estimated at 800 million, will have a reach across Australia.
Fox Sports will screen all 32 matches exclusively live in HD throughout Australia.
The agreement with Fox Sports allows ABC1 to screen:
The three group matches involving host nation Australia - against Kuwait in Melbourne on January 9, Oman in Sydney on January 13 and South Korea in Brisbane on January 17 - on two hour delay;
· Any match involving Australia from the quarter final stage live; and
· The Semi Finals and Final live.
ABC1 will also screen a daily half-hour highlights package at 10pm.
ABC radio is also the official Australian radio broadcaster of the AFC Asian Cup.
“I congratulate Fox Sports and the ABC for reaching this landmark agreement,” said Michael Brown, CEO of the Asian Cup Local Organising Committee.
“Fox Sports has been a huge supporter and partner of football in Australia for the past 10 years and as the momentum of football has grown, Fox Sports has worked with us and made a decision in good faith to allow the ABC to broadcast parts of the Asian Cup this summer.
“We thank Fox Sports for their continued support and vision in allowing a new audience to experience this monumental event.
“This agreement will create an even bigger audience for a once-in-a-generation event that will put Australia firmly in the Asian and indeed global spotlight.
“It means Australians will be able to watch the key matches on delay on their national broadcaster, as well as enjoying the fabulous live coverage on Fox Sports.
“With less than three months until kick-off, the ABC’s involvement increases the sense of excitement and anticipation around a major world event that is coming to Australian shores for the first time.”
In addition to the free-to-air rights to the Asian Cup, ABC TV will broadcast the international match between the Socceroos and Japan in Osaka on 18 November.
FFA CEO David Gallop welcomed the ABC in joining Fox Sports in bringing this prime-time broadcast to a huge Australian audience.
“Japan are the reigning Asian champions and will provide a great test in the final Asian Cup warm-up for the Socceroos,” said Gallop.
“I’m delighted that the simultaneous live coverage on the ABC and Fox Sports will take this match across the nation and build support for our Asian Cup campaign.”
The AFC Asian Cup is Asia’s biggest football competition and was established in 1956.
The 16 nations to qualify for AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 are Australia as hosts, defending champions Japan, Korea Republic and 2012 AFC Challenge Cup winners DPR Korea, along with Bahrain, China, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Palestine.
The 16 finalists will take part in a 23-day festival of football in five cities which the Socceroos will kick off against Kuwait on January 9, 2015, in Melbourne, with the final set for Sydney’s Stadium Australia on January 31, 2015.
The tournament is being financially supported by the Australian Government and the NSW, Victorian, Queensland and ACT Governments.
Tickets for AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 are on sale now.
For more information on AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 visit www.afcasiancup.com