Australian football must follow in the Big Bash’s footsteps

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There are not enough eyeballs on the A-League or W-League. It is that simple.

Every time the television is turned on throughout the summer months, Big Bash cricket dominates the free-to-air offering.

For football lovers, subscription television or a Kayo subscription is the only option.

Passionate fans will pay the price for the sport they love, but will anyone else?

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The A-League and W-League product on offer is not enough to entice new viewers to engage with the sport.

The Big Bash should be applauded. The quality of their broadcast has enabled them to generate more viewers who traditionally may not follow the sport.

The quality of coverage Fox Sports has provided so far this season has been appalling.

Not only has there been an absence of quality and interesting pre-match and post-match coverage which will engage an audience, but there has also been inexcusable production issues.

This stuff up is bad enough, but what makes it worse is it has happened more than once.

The Big Bash should also be commended for the implementation of new rules, including substitute players, a split power play and the introduction of the bash boost point.

The league introduced these innovative rules to ensure exciting cricket was played and to create additional hype throughout the game, therefore enticing more people to watch.

Whilst traditional cricket enthusiasts have argued these rules take away from the fabric of the sport, it was viewed as essential to create an exciting product.

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It is crucial both the A-League and W-League follow suit.

They must make exciting and potentially radical rule changes if they are to attract new fans and compete with rival sports.

It could be done in many different ways, from small rule tweaks to major changes which would transform how football is played.

Whether it is bringing in a ‘sin-bin’ for yellow card infringements or introducing golden goal, something needs to be done to keep up.

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These rules would draw plenty of criticism from traditionalists but is imperative in attracting new fans to a sport with dwindling ratings.

Fox Sports need to get their act together and the A-League and W-League must shake things up if they are any chance of competing with a sport as successful as the Big Bash.

Feature Image Credit: Supplied

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Matthew Tsimpikas
Sports lover studying journalism at the Queensland University of Technology. Covering Brisbane Roar FC in the 2020/21 A-League and W-League.