Put on your baggy green and settle in for the most comprehensive cricket coverage in Australia.
With the Australian cricket season only running for four months of the year, it's important to make the most of every six, every catch, and every over. While watching it all on free-to-air TV is a perfectly serviceable solution, if you really want to live and breathe all things cricket, you'll want to check out Optus Sport.
What is Optus Sport?
Optus Sport is a subscription streaming service delivering live and on-demand coverage of the Australian cricket season, along with other sports like English Premier League football. During the 2016-2017 cricket season, Optus Sport hosted a 24/7 cricket channel featuring exclusive interviews, expert analyses, and replays of classic matches from the sport's rich history. Streamed over the Internet to compatible mobile devices, Optus Sport's cricket coverage provided Aussies with round-the-clock insight into the 2016-2017 season.
How do I sign up for Optus Sport and what does it get me?
Before signing up, cricket fans should note that Optus Sport only covers cricket during the active season. For the rest of the year, Optus Sport is limited to coverage of the EPL and other international football tournaments.
The second thing to consider is that Optus Sport is exclusive to Optus customers on eligible plans. If you're not currently with Optus, you'll need to sign up to one of the telco's compatible mobile or broadband plans in order to subscribe to Optus Sport. We set out the best way to do this in the cost section below.
Assuming you're on an eligible plan, you can add an Optus Sport subscription to your plan for a monthly fee. By downloading the Optus Sport app for compatible devices, you'll then have access to the dedicated cricket channel and its 24/7 stream of exclusive interviews, extended highlights, classic matches, and deep analyses. You'll also receive all the latest news and statistics from matches as they happen.
With an Optus Sport subscription, you'll have more options for watching cricket matches, too. In addition to streaming live matches through the Optus Sport website, you can watch matches on the go through the Cricket Australia Live mobile app. By linking your Optus Sport subscription with the Cricket Australia Live app, you'll receive a complimentary Cricket Live Pass, letting you stream every test match, one-day international, T20 international and Big Bash league match played in Australia live to your mobile device.
How much does Optus Sport cost?
Depending on whether you're already an Optus customer, the cost of an Optus Sport subscription can vary greatly.
If you're not already with Optus, the cheapest way to get Optus Sport is to sign up for one of the telco's SIM Only plans and add an Optus Sport subscription to it. SIM Only plans start at $30 a month for 1.5GB of data along with unlimited talk and text on a 12-month contract. An extra $15 a month will get you an Optus Sport subscription, bringing the total up to $45 a month. If you don't want to commit to a full year with Optus, the same plan on a month-to-month contract will cost you $35 a month for a total package cost of $50 a month.
Existing Optus customers can add an Optus Sport subscription to their plan for $15 a month, provided they are on one of the following:
- A post-paid mobile plan of $30 or more a month
- A post-paid mobile broadband plan of $30 or more a month
- Any home broadband plan
Additionally, if your current Optus plan is more than $85 a month, you can bundle in an Optus Sport subscription for free.
Both new and existing customers can also add Yes TV by Fetch to their Optus Sport subscription for an extra $5 a month. The Yes TV package includes a basic Fetch subscription along with a Fetch Mini set-top box capable of streaming the 24/7 Optus Sport cricket channel directly to your TV.
What devices are compatible with Optus Sport?
While cricket coverage on Optus Sport is mainly for mobile phones and tablets, certain features are available on other devices as well.
Computer users can stream live cricket matches through the Cricket Australia Live website provided they are using one of the following web browsers: Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari 9 on OS X 10.10 or 10.11.
Yes TV by Fetch subscribers can stream the 24/7 cricket channel to their TVs, catching all the latest coverage from the comfort of their couch.
For the complete cricket experience, you'll need to download both the Optus Sport and Cricket Australia Live apps to your Apple or Android mobile device. The Optus Sport app is home to the 24/7 cricket channel along with an archive of on-demand video, while the Cricket Australia Live app provides on-the-go streams of live matches.
On Android, the Optus Sport app requires a phone or tablet running Android 4.4 or higher, while the iOS version of the app supports iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices running iOS 8.0 or higher. The Cricket Australia Live app requires an Android device running Android 4.1 or higher or an Apple device running iOS 8.0 or higher.
Optus Sport also includes limited support for Chromecast and Apple TV devices via screen casting and Apple AirPlay. Unfortunately, you cannot live stream matches this way.
You can register a maximum of four devices to your Optus Sport account, with streaming limited to one device at a time. If you sign up for Yes TV by Fetch, you'll have a little more leeway, with streaming available on your Fetch set-top box plus one other device simultaneously.
How much data does Optus Sport use?
If you subscribe to Optus Sport through one of Optus's eligible mobile plans, all streaming through the Optus Sport and Cricket Australia Live apps will be unmetered, so it won't count against your monthly data cap. However, all streaming outside of Optus's network will use up your monthly quota. For example, if you're an Optus mobile customer and you stream Optus Sport content through your Telstra home broadband connection, your Telstra data cap will take a hit.
How much data you will use streaming cricket depends on both the length and quality of the video you're watching. Cricket Australia automatically adjusts video quality based on the speed of your Internet connection, with the minimum 350kbps connections using around 150MB of data an hour and the highest-quality 1.8Mbps connections using roughly 773MB an hour.
Optus Sport is a little more data hungry, with its maximum usage capping at 1.6GB per hour if you're streaming through a computer or TV and 900MB an hour if you're watching through the mobile app.
Picture: Steve Baty/Flickr