A-League set for surprise free-to-air TV deal with ABC

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Australia's round ball competition looks poised to land on a new channel this season

The ABC has emerged as the likely free-to-air home for the A-League this season. 

According to The Daily Telegraph, a deal is close to being struck that will see Saturday afternoon matches shown on ABC's primary channel.

Those games, scheduled for a regular 5.15pm (AEDT) kick-off, would also be shown on Fox Sports, who boast the full TV rights to the competition. 

 After showing Saturday night games last season, Channel 10 are reportedly out of the running to broadcast matches this season following a US merger. 

While it's never broadcast the A-League before, the ABC is no stranger to the round ball having previously shown the W-League and friendly matches.

Their coverage of a game between Liverpool and Sydney FC in 2017 didn't win may people over however, with Football Federation Australia left less than impressed by their attempted comedic offering. 

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"Like many fans, FFA is disappointed with some aspects of the ABC's broadcast of the Sydney FC v Liverpool FC match last night," the governing body tweeted at the time.

"Pre-game, half-time & post-game coverage wasn't to a standard expected by FFA and football fans. We've made that point to ABC management."

As it stands, a repeat of that coverage is unlikely with ABC expected to simply simulcast what Fox Sports produces should a deal be struck. 

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