Stan Sport: Everything we know so far
Formerly just a traditional streaming service, Stan is moving into live sport in 2021, which will interest rugby fans in particular.
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The announcement was made after striking a deal with the Australian Rugby Union, securing a smorgasbord of rugby broadcast rights. A few days after that it confirmed it had also picked up some tennis. Here's what we know about Stan Sport.
What is on Stan Sport?
Stan first announced it would be securing all the rugby on the Australian calendar and more exclusively for the next three years, live and most importantly ad-free. That includes the Bledisloe Cup, Super Rugby AU, Super Rugby Aotearoa, Shute Shield, The Rugby Championship, Super W, Hospital Cup, Mitre 10 Cup, Currie Cup and SANZAAR Union home games.
For those hoping to watch on free-to-air, all Wallabies matches and one weekly Saturday Super Rugby AU game will be shown on Channel 9.
Following on from that announcement it also confirmed Stan Sport will be the home of the trans-Tasman tournament. The competition will see Super Rugby teams from Australia and New Zealand combine and compete in 25 crossover matches during the six-week tournament.
It won't just be rugby on the agenda. Stan Sport has landed the broadcast rights to two of the biggest grand slams in tennis for the next three years – Wimbledon and the French Open. Select coverage will still also be on Channel 9 meaning it will now have all grand slams except the US Open, as 9 already broadcasts the Australian Open. Both Channel 7 and Fox Sports have lost the rights to the grand slams.
We'll be keeping our eye out for any more content it will add as it's clear Nine is committed to Stan Sport rather than just treating it as an experiment.
When did Stan Sport launch?
Stan Sport launched in February 2021 to coincide with the start of the Super Rugby AU season. It kicked off on 19 February.
How much will Stan Sport cost?
On 28 January, Stan Sport confirmed that it would cost $10 per month. However, you can only subscribe to Stan Sport as an add-on to an existing Stan subscription.
Regular Stan memberships are between $10 and $19 per month. So the true cost of Stan Sport is from $20 per month to $29 per month. And if you want to watch in HD then the real cost is at least $24 per month.
Given that so far Stan Sport will only host rugby and two tennis grand slams it's surprising that you can't subscribe to the sport option alone, at least to begin with.
Stan Sport's most valuable content will be the Wallabies fixtures which will be simulcast on Channel 9. Rugby viewership has also been on the decline in Australia for some time now, making it harder to justify the higher price point when compared to the competition.
Likely the easiest comparison for Stan Sport is with Optus Sport, which only has football. Optus Sport boasts exclusive rights to the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League, which are incredibly popular, along with another seven competitions for $14.99 per month.
Stan Sport doesn't have the same level of premium sports content as Optus Sport or Kayo, but costs more than the former and only a dollar less for HD than the latter.
Stan Sport free trial
On the same day Stan Sport confirmed its price, it also confirmed that just like regular Stan, Stan Sport will have a 30-day free trial. We're expecting that anyone who has used a free trial with Stan before will be ineligible for one with Stan Sport.
Stan Sport compatible devices
Stan Sport is available on a wide range of devices. Of course it's compatible with your regular iOS and Android devices along with Mac and PC. In addition to those Stan Sport will be available on:
Set-top boxes and streaming hardware
- Apple TV – 4th Generation and later
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Fetch TV
- Telstra TV
- Foxtel Now box
- Xbox One
- Xbox One S
- Xbox One X
- PlayStation 4
- PlayStation 5
- Android TVs
Why is Stan getting into sport?
There are two big reasons that Stan is spreading its wings. The first is a turf war and the second is external threats, but both are due to competition.
To be frank Stan is going head-to-head with Foxtel. It made a big play in 2020 to get the HBO rights from Foxtel, but was unsuccessful. Both companies are fighting for the crown of Australia's most popular streaming service. In August Stan reported it had 2.2 million subscribers.
In December News Corp reported the total Foxtel Group which is made up of Kayo Sports, BINGE, Foxtel and Foxtel Now is up to 3.3 million subscribers. Kayo had reached 644,000 subscribers and BINGE 290,000.
Considering how much longer Foxtel has been around for, Stan's subscriber numbers are fairly solid in comparison. Not letting Kayo solely have a sports streaming market share is going to be a key battle.
The other reason is that Stan needs content. As Stan isn't the size of Netflix or Prime Video its content library is heavily made up of third-party content rather than originals. In years gone by that wasn't an issue.
However, with so many media companies now launching their own streaming services made up only of titles that they own, it's a big threat to Stan's business model. Last year when Disney+ launched Stan lost the rights to all of its Marvel, Star Wars and Disney content. That has only continued with the launch of new Disney+ channel, Star, which boasts loads of adult-focused content like Grey's Anatomy, Family Guy and the Dead Pool movies.
That left Stan with a very valuable Showtime contract which gives it the rights to things like Yellowstone and Billions. That could also potentially be under threat with the arrival of Paramount+ in 2021. Without a doubt that's part of what prompted Stan to create 30 new originals in the next 5 years and diversify by moving into sport.
Sports broadcast rights in Australia are extremely valuable as seen by the success of Optus Sport and Kayo Sports so far. The rights are also almost always sold to third parties such as ESPN, beIN SPORTS, Fox Sports or others, which for now reduces the risk of a brand new service launching that solely owns the right to an entire sport.
For those reasons Nine has seen an opportunity to minimise the threat to Stan and launch Stan Sport.
How does Stan Sport compare?
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