Soccer fans rejoice in the news Optus has revealed its plans for the English Premier League after forking out $50 million for the exclusive broadcasting rights.
The Aussie telco has done a deal with SBS to sub licence the exclusive free-to-air rights of one match per round for the next three seasons.
It was a surprise move for the telco to bid for the broadcast rights as it had no broadcast partner. The win usurped Foxtel’s bid which had previously broadcast the matches on its subscription TV service.
The rest of the matches will be broadcast across a range of TV and internet-enabled devices.
“With Optus, football fans are spoiled for choice,” said Allen Lew, CEO of Optus, in a statement.
“As the only telco in Australia to own and operate network infrastructure across all three mobile, fixed and satellite platforms, we are in a unique position to deliver the English Premier League and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to more Australians, in more ways than ever before.
“Broadcast has been a key part of our services since the inception of Optus’ satellite business. We have developed rich expertise in broadcasting and have a long history in delivering high quality live broadcasts via our satellite fleet.”
For those after all the matches, Optus is launching a dedicated 24/7 football channel on its subscription TV platform, Optus TV with Fetch. Fetch TV is a subscription based set-top box with various entertainment packages available.
Apps and extra content will be available from the telco, along with a satellite broadcast platform for those who don’t have access the company’s broadband.
SBS managing director and chief executive, Michael Ebeid said: “International football is at the very heart of SBS and our purpose to inspire understanding between our diverse multicultural communities. We are pleased to partner with Optus to deliver a deal that gives football fans much more international football on free-to-air TV throughout the year.
“These innovative agreements disrupt the old models of TV delivery in Australia and also ensure SBS can responsibly invest in an ongoing commitment to providing fans with universal and free access to international football, in our rapidly changing media landscape.”