The agreement covers all matches played across the recently rebranded men’s and women’s club soccer competitions, with fixtures set to be shown on Sky’s various pay-TV and streaming platforms.

Certain fixtures will also be shown free-to-air as part of the deal, including Wellington Phoenix’s forthcoming A-League Women debut on 3rd December, which will be carried by Sky’s Prime channel.

The deal comes after Australia and New Zealand’s top men’s, women’s and youth competitions were brought under the collective A-Leagues banner in September, a move that was designed to promote gender equality and inclusivity.

That rebranding followed the formation of the Australian Professional Leagues (APL), an independent entity that assumed responsibility for the operation, commercialisation and marketing of the league’s from Australia’s national soccer association.

Earlier this year the APL agreed a AUS$200 million (US$155.5 million), five-year media rights deal with ViacomCBS-owned Network Ten for the A-Leagues to be broadcast both free-to-air and on the newly launched Paramount+ streaming service in Australia.

Financial terms of Sky’s deal for New Zealand, whose only representatives in the league are the Phoenix, have not been disclosed.

“We have worked closely with Australian Premier Leagues to put a partnership together that’s so much more than a broadcasting deal,” said Adam Crothers, Sky’s head of sport partnerships.

“As New Zealand and Australia look forward to the biggest global event in women’s sport, the Fifa Women’s World Cup in 2023, we’ll be working with the APL and other partners like New Zealand Football to grow interest in the ‘beautiful game’ – on the field, in the stands and on air.”

Crothers added: “The A-League is yet another important piece in our strategy to lift up women’s sport through greater visibility, more opportunities for women in production and broadcasting and more chances to inspire rangatahi and wāhine in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

The 2021/22 A-League Men season gets underway later this week when Melbourne City take on Brisbane Roar, while A-League Women – formerly known as the W-League – begins on 3rd December, when the aforementioned Phoenix face the Western Sydney Wanderers.

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