Following on from the debacle that was the FIFA World Cup, Optus Sport continues to cast a wide net over football broadcasting in Australia, this time by securing the coveted rights to air the UEFA Champions League.
Optus bosses today announced the secured the rights to air the Champions League, as well as the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup for the next three years.
The broadcasts will begin almost immediately, with the service set to air all the remaining qualifying matches for the 2018-19 tournament, before the group stage games begin in September. Every game of the tournament – right through to the finals next year – will air on Optus exclusively live.
Network bosses confirmed the acquisition in a statement issued earlier today.
The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious international club competition in the world and Optus Sport will show every match live starting with the play-offs this August, followed by all group stage matches live, starting in September 2018 and continuing through until the final in 2019.
Optus Sport will also show live and exclusive the UEFA Super Cup on August 16 (August 17 in Australia) between the winners of last season’s Europa League Atletico and the winners of the Champions League Real Madrid.
The announcement comes weeks after the streaming service copped a barrage of criticism that extended all the way up to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over the many issues that dogged their coverage of this year’s World Cup, which they ultimately agreed to hand back to the SBS in order to deliver the tournament to all Australians.
The UEFA Champions League adds to Optus’ stockpile of major football broadcast rights, which also includes the likes of the English Premier League and the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year.