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Free-to-air TV rights on A-League agenda

Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy has given an arresting forecast of the sport's broadcast value, signalling he wants the next deal to maximise free-to-air exposure.

Despite an improvement in on-field standards, the A-League's growth has curtailed this season, lacklustre marketing and a poor free-to-air television deal with SBS seen as the chief issues.

Lowy, who attended Melbourne Victory's grand final luncheon on Friday, called the current SBS deal an "unsatisfactory free-to-air arrangement right now that must change".

But it's unlikely to change in time for next season, given the current deal would need to be re-negotiated with subscription broadcaster Fox Sports.

Lowy revealed a group of FFA board members, with club representatives from Melbourne City and Sydney FC, have begun initial work on the next broadcast agreement.

Previously, FFA were set on doubling their current annual $40 million windfall for its package of Socceroos and A-League broadcast rights in a new deal.

But Lowy has scrapped those hopes, not wanting to benchmark himself by statements made by the previous administration.

"We need to dispel any monetary expectations," he said.

"There's a market out there and our job is to get the best deal in that market."

Lowy's broadcast mantra - at least for the next deal - is to find the best fit to grow the game, not just FFA's bank balance.

"An objective is to maximise the revenue for the game but also having a very important eye on how and who can impact and grow the game with us," he said.

The governing body will cast the net far and wide searching for the best deal, meeting with representatives beyond the traditional broadcasting sphere.

That includes telco Optus, who signed broadcast rights to the English Premier League starting next season from Fox Sports.

With less than six months until the beginning of the 12th A-League season, Lowy downplayed the suggestion a deal could be done to shift games from SBS before then.

"We want to have it done as soon as possible but we won't compromise the process," he said.

"It would only be possible with the cooperation of Fox Sports. We'll have a serious discussion with Fox."