The new deal with ABC is a crucial part of this, and also a perfect showcase for the sport's potential on a mainstream free-to-air commercial channel further down the line.

If the ABC can bring in decent viewing figures, it could hopefully tempt one of the key players like Nine, Seven or Ten to bid for broadcast rights when the next TV deal comes up.

O'Rourke is also excited by the ABC becoming the FTA home of Australian football, with the A-League, W-League, Socceroos and Matildas all featuring in some form on the national broadcaster.

"They're all on ABC, so if people want to see it, they don't have to think, 'Where is it? Is the game on this channel or that channel?' It's all on ABC and Fox," said O'Rourke

"It's really important because not only is it the TV part of the deal, it's also all their other platforms they can access such as digital podcasts, radios, ABC Kids, etc.

"The more we talked to ABC about what's possible, the more exciting it is."


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He added: "The KPIs will be the increase in broadcast and variants of broadcast - streaming and broadcast on FTA and Fox and My Football Live – and we'll accumulate all those, and attendances.

"But most importantly I think will be to turn the sentiment around.

"It's been really difficult to get traction, to have people talk positively about our game. If we can get to the situation where people are talking positively then that will be mission accomplished."