Unclear whether Australian audience can watch Ange Postecoglou's first game; opportunity for Celtic

By Euan Davidson

June 29, 2021

The Australian TV rights to show UEFA competitions have changed, leaving an opportunity for Celtic to take advantage.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Stan Sport (presumably a tribute to Petrov) have won the broadcast rights to show Champions League and Europa League football. Also included, for the first time, is the UEFA Conference League. It’s an exciting time, albeit a costly one for Australian fans; with costs possibly rising to $80 a month for fanatics to watch various competitions.

For Celtic, though, they’ll be hoping to exploit the popularity of Ange Postecoglou. Rights to the Scottish Premiership are already owned by Foxtel’s Kayo Sports. With the club expecting increased viewership from Down Under following the appointment of Postecoglou, European football also prominently features in any plans.

Foxtel also show the Carabao Cup, the EFL Championship, Serie A, Ligue 1, the German Bundesliga and MLS action. Their rivals, Optus Sport, have the English Premier League and some international action, including Euro 2020 and the Copa America. Network Ten own the rights to A-League and most Socceroos and Matildas matches. Needless to say, it’s a fractured landscape.

For the Midtylland game, an important wrinkle appears. UEFA don’t sell TV rights until the next Qualifying Playoff rounds. That means Celtic can broadcast the home leg on the 20th July through another broadcaster, which could be a potential money-spinner where Oz is concerned.

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If it all sounds incredibly convoluted, then that’s because it is. According to the Sydney Morning Herald:

“Stan has not made a decision on whether it will broadcast the UEFA Champions League qualifiers, which will mark the start of former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou’s journey with Scottish giants Celtic.”

Let’s be clear; there will be Australian audiences wanting to see Celtic under Postecoglou

It’s not as if nobody in Australia has heard of Celtic before, mind. There are CSCs across the country [Celtic Badges], with ex-pats and newer fans alike. The presence of both us and, lamentably, our rivals, is already a part of life in Australia.

But the Postecoglou hiring has obvious implications. For the footballing culture in Australia, his ascent to the Celtic dugout has ramifications. That’s especially true if Postecoglou brings in Australian players and/or staff. The form of Tom Rogic is also a factor here.

Celtic star Tom Rogic with Ange Postecoglou / (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

So if Celtic can set a strong precedent and ensure there’s a good TV deal from our end for coverage in Oz, then all the better. It goes without saying, almost, but the audience is there. A lack of clarity with only a few weeks to go will be a source of anxiety for Hoops fans in Australia.

If the club want to meaningfully connect with supporters and potential fans in a huge audience, then this is the first chance to get it right. There’s also an opportunity, albeit a slightly cynical one, to sell the rights to Postecoglou’s first game to the highest bidder.

Either way, we’re sure that someone in Australia is going to show Ange Postecoglou’s first competitive Celtic game. And whoever does will benefit hugely, along with our wonderful Club.

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