Optus kicks off its English Premier League coverage
Having spent up big for the rights, Optus will make English Premier League games available on a variety of platforms, including a dedicated 24/7 streaming channel.
Optus has today announced how it will be making the English Premier League games it recently won the exclusive broadcast rights to available to Australian sports fans.
It will broadcast the 2016/2017 season of the English Premier League on a dedicated channel on its Optus TV with Fetch Set Top platform. The release indicates that this will happen for existing Fetch TV subscribers, as well as through a newly developed smaller set-top box device, presumably similar to that offered by Telstra as the Telstra TV. Optus offers Fetch TV boxes with a number of its broadband packages as an inducement to sign up. In order to accommodate all the potential matches in a live timeframe, it will offer up to ten sub-channels to cover every possible game broadcast.
Aside from Fetch, Optus will also make EPL games available on mobile and tablet devices with the added hook of live games being offered quota free to Optus customers. It will also stream games through a dedicated EPL website.
Optus has not announced what customers will pay for EPL coverage, but the repeated use of the word "subscription" makes it very clear that this won’t be a simple bundled freebie if you’re a sports fan. It also doesn’t appear that you’ll be able to subscribe if you’re not an Optus customer, with Optus’ release noting that EPL coverage will be available "exclusively to Optus customers". Pricing is going to be announced by the middle of 2016.
In a cross-licensing deal, SBS will pick up the rights to broadcast a single match per round live, while Optus has licensed the 2018 FIFA World Cup from SBS, with plans to broadcast all 64 games of the 2018 competition.