With the entire country swept up in football fever, there’s never been a better time to get behind the local competition. The Liberty A-League Women’s season gets underway this weekend with Sydney FC taking on the Wanderers, and will run through to the Finals in April, 2024.
Ahead of kick off, Mediaweek spoke with Paramount’s general manager of ad sales Nick Bower, about making the most of the momentum that the world’s biggest sport has gained in Australia.
It’s a good time to be involved with football in Australia, with the Matildas breaking records earlier in the year, and Sydney FC’s victory at the Australia Cup leading into the season kick off. “No question, football is hot right now – everybody loves it,” said Bower.
“More people are playing football in this country than any other sport in terms of participation, and we expect those participation and engagement numbers to grow. We also expect us to have a big year when it comes to audiences across our football programming and platforms.
“We start with the Liberty A-League Women on Saturday night. We’re thrilled to kick off our season with such a big clash – Western Sydney Wanderers vs Sydney FC. It’s going be phenomenal to see these two teams who have such a rich history start the season, and really celebrate women’s football in this big iconic moment at Allianz stadium.”
With more people streaming games than ever before, Bower said that viewers on Paramount+ and 10 Play will be at the centre of Paramount’s plan to showcase “more games in more places than ever before”
“Saturday night will be live on 10 Bold with a 7pm kickoff. It will also be on 10 Play, which is the fastest-growing BVOD service in the country – last week we were up 44% on 10 Play alone, that platform is going from strength to strength. It’s also available on the home of Australian football, Paramount+. We’ve been the home of Australian football for three seasons, we’re coming to our third one, and looking forward to this being our biggest and best season yet.
“We have some really strong leaps forward when it comes to user experience and viewership watching on Paramount+ starting this weekend, which will be great.”
For advertisers, Bower said that one of the biggest appeals of the sport is that there’s football happening in some capacity all year around.
“The Socceroos and Matildas are running all year round and we also have some internationals that play in our traditional offseason, but our main season partnerships and sponsors will start with the start of the A-Leagues. It’s great to have partners like Isuzu Ute and Harvey Norman return, we’re thrilled to have such strong support from those two partners and forward to a big season. We’re also very close on a couple of other partnerships to announce soon.
“When we went to market for the first time with football as Paramount – or back then ViacomCBS – we really did look to lead with the female and women’s sport angle, because we know it resonates with advertisers and viewers. That continues today.”
For those who got into the FIFA Women’s World Cup and want to follow what their favourite players are up to next, Bower points to Saturday night’s launch of the A-League Women, which will also bring some star power to the field.
“The strength of what the Matildas have done in the past few months has really been a highlight. There’s been a lot of work to ensure that everybody’s supporting, excited, and engaged by how good women’s football is. That continues and extends into our world at Paramount, we are the broadcaster of the Matildas who have some matches coming up in the next few months as they start to qualify for the next Olympic Games.
“But in addition to that, in the Liberty A League Women, we’ve got some great Matildas playing on Saturday night. Cortnee Vine is a World Cup hero, she’s such a darling of the media right now – it’s going to be wonderful to see her trot out for Sydney FC.”
Top Image: Sydney FC’s Princess Ibini-Isei