When the Big Bash League started on Network 10 in 2013, it was, well, not very big. But its audience skyrocketed by 370 per cent in the first year alone. “We know how to take a sport, bring it into the free to air landscape and grow it even bigger,” says Nick Bower, Sport Sales Director from 10 ViacomCBS. The network plans to do more of the same with the A-Leagues, and is adding the first ad slots to new streaming service Paramount+ to entice advertisers. “The only way to get access to that incredibly valuable and rich audience within that streaming service is through our football coverage,” Bower says. Ant Hearne, A-Leagues’ Chief Commercial Officer, reckons the challenge is one of conversion: There are 8 million football fans in Australia, but viewers compare the standard to the “incomparable” leagues in Europe. “The conversation has got more into what we’re not, rather than what we are,” he says – but he’s out to change all that.