Optus just scored bigtime in the sports media market, clinching full broadcast rights to the English Premier League in Australia.
The three-season deal covers online, televised and mobile broadcast rights for every game, and will come into effect in August at the start of the league’s 2016-2017 season.
It’s looking like the deal is already a win for Aussie football fans, as previously only Fox Sports held exclusive rights to the league. Currently, Premier League content can only be (officially) accessed through Foxtel and bundled with other channels, or through limited offerings from the teams themselves. In contrast, Optus may choose to emulate their the subscription-based Cricket 365 Pass for football, which offers sports-nutters nationwide stacks of cricket and not much else.
Currently, there are no firm details on how the telco plans to exercise their new broadcast rights. In a statement, an Optus spokesperson said “our goal is to make this content available to as many fans as possible – but we’re not going in to detail about distribution platforms at this stage”.
While the details are up in the air, it’s fair to say Optus will be pretty chuffed about the deal; NBCUniversal’s handle on the league in the U.S has seen audience numbers climb by over 150% in three years, leading to their newly-penned contract extension being called a “bargain.”
The deal could also get football into more Aussie homes, following SBS’ surprise relegation of the A-League to their secondary channel.
Next problem to solve: working out how to watch all 380 games a season, 4am kick-off times be damned.
Story via ABC.
Image: Clive Rose via Getty.