Today’s budget cuts means the end of the W-League on the ABC, a partnership that has lasted seven seasons.

On the back of the Abbott Government's cutback of $254 million from the public broadcaster over the next five years, ABC Managing Director Mark Scott today announced more than 400 ABC staff could lose their jobs.

In a statement on the ABC website Scott said that those cuts will include state based local sports coverage.

"With the ABC facing declining audience interest in local sport competitions and some codes chasing commercial opportunities, ABC Television is revising its sports strategy to ensure the most cost-efficient use of resources and optimal audience impact."

The FFA confirmed the axing of the W-League.

“Football Federation Australia (FFA) today received final confirmation of ABC TV’s decision to cease broadcast of the Westfield W-League for the 2015/16 season as part of widespread budget cuts that affect sporting codes and competitions all over Australia,” an FFA spokesperson said.

“FFA is disappointed with the decision to cut the broadcast of Australia’s premier women’s national sporting competition."

“The decision does not affect broadcast of the current Westfield W-League season or the on-going viability of the competition and FFA will work with all broadcasters to explore options to ensure the on-going coverage of the W-League.”

The potential cut in local coverage, and the rationale, was previously stated by Scott in an October interview with Jon Faine on ABC 774 in Melbourne.

"It [the W-League] is a good example. It's the kind of example that would be hard for us to do if we implement the Lewis efficiency findings," he said.

"It talks about us getting out of local television coverage around the country. It talks about us selling our OB (outside broadcast) vans."

"If we sold our OB vans, if we got out of local television production, it would be very hard for us to do local sport and those kind of sporting competitions."

While the average ratings for the W-League coverage have been increasing in the past two seasons after a slump in Seasons 4 and 5, the W-League did not fall in favour of any cost/benefit (costs about $40,000 per broadcast) analysis undertaken.

"Some of these audiences are very small but they have loyal and passionate audiences and if in fact we have less money, we will have to weigh up where our investment is going to be," Scott concluded.

Future broadcasting of the W-League

With the W-League cut from the ABC, what are the options?

The Women's Game is aware of one state federation who has already received proposals from an established media company to provide recording and online streaming services for the W-League.

The proposal has included 1, 2 and 3 camera options with the prices ranging from approx. $350 - $1,600 per game with the matches streamed online.

Free YouTube streams are currently utilised by the US National Women's Soccer League with varying degrees of success.

The benefits for the W-League adopting such a model includes matches accessible live in all states as well as accessible to new and emerging international audiences.

The negative, as always, is the question of cost. Who will foot the final bill?

At $1,600 per game, nearly $82,000 for the streaming, and potentially more if you consider paying commentators. Let’s call it an even $100,000. That money would need to be found.

Those costs could be recouped, either through a pay per view structure (as is currently done with the WNBA) or in advertising.

Any subscription based structure also the negative of potentially creating a barrier to viewing, a benefit of the ABC's 'free to air' coverage.

The loss of free to air coverage could also negatively impact the ability for W-League clubs to secure sponsorship and funding.

"I think it's shameful, it's terrible, it's bad for women's sport, but it's also bad for regional and community sport too," Canberra United CEO Heather Reid told The Canberra Times.

"It's going to have a big knock-on effect unless other broadcasters pick up the TV coverage, particularly for the W-League and the WNBL, it will have potential ramifications across the sponsorship ... [which] helps keep the fledgling clubs alive in the absence of massive TV rights deals."

"Sponsors want to see their brand on TV and if we don't have that TV coverage then it's almost back to the drawing board."

Over the past couple of months the FFA have been absorbing the recommendations of the W-League review undertaken last season, it may now have a new item to consider.

Have your say. What is your reaction to the news? How would you like to see the W-League broadcast in the future?