There have been talks for a while now about independently broadcasting A-League matches on an app.
Currently, we have the MyFootball app on which you can stream A-League and W-League games for seven dollars a month, unless you are a Telstra customer in which case it is free.
However, Football Federation Australia’s MyFootball app has struggled to gain awareness, with many people uninformed about the app and majority choosing Fox Sports or Kayo Sports over the FFA’s independent broadcasting platform.
But there are other ways that the FFA can utilise the app until the end of Foxtel’s contract.
More and more football leagues are beginning to deploy fantasy leagues, in which you sign players for different amounts of money within a transfer budget.
In some apps, you can make transfers throughout the season, allowing you to sell a player and sign another, within the transfer budget of course.
After each matchday, each player gets allocated points for your team. You also pick a team captain, who gets double points and a vice-captain who gets 1.5 amount of points.
The rules are simple; the team with the most amount of points after each round wins. You can join different leagues to compete with your friends and family members.
Overall, it is an interactive game that allows you to feel part of different players performances, maybe making you want to watch a match you usually wouldn’t tune into because someone from your fantasy team is playing.
This allows for a more interactive league, making fans feel ‘part’ of games, even if the club they support isn’t playing.
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The FFA is always looking for ways to get fans to interact with the A-League, and a fantasy league may hold that key.
A great example of a successful fantasy league is the English Premier League FPL.
The English fantasy Premier League allows you a budget of 100 million and has three wildcard features.
Once a season, you are allowed a triple captain, meaning your captain will pick up triple points instead of double. You are also allowed a ‘free hit’, meaning that for one round you have an unlimited budget to make transfers. Your team then returns to normal after the round.
There is also a bench boost, where your four bench players count towards the total amount of points. You are allowed one transfer per week.
The fantasy Premier League has also been marketed intelligently.
The Premier League added it to a section of their app allowing the FPL to flourish and increase popularity within the application.
They started up a Twitter account which has gained 1.1 million followers since August 2016 and has added fantasy shows to their Youtube channel.
The Premier League’s fantasy has been a huge success in allowing fans to interact with the league.
FFA’s CEO James Johnson stated in his XI Principles for the future of Australian football document that he wants to ‘stimulate the growth of the Australian football economy and reset and rebuild Australian football products’.
With Fox Sports pulling further away from developing football within our country it is becoming increasingly likely that the FFA will have to develop initiatives to connect with fans.
It’s time for an A-League fantasy league.