Having splurged a whopping $189 million for the rights to English Premier League matches in Australia over the next three years, it appears Optus is struggling to work out how fans will actually get to watch the games considering it doesn’t have a TV partner.
Fairfax Media is this morning reporting that it is trying to do a deal with Foxtel (the broadcaster it outbid for the rights) to get matches into (the lucrative) clubs and pubs market. However, the talks reportedly have not progressed anywhere since late in 2015.
It is understood that Foxtel is still smarting at losing the rights to its rivals and fear a number of subscribers may abandon their existing subscription package for Optus’ streaming service to mobiles and tablet devices.
Optus has thus far been coy on its plans to broadcast EPL and how many matches will be available. To date, it has launched a registration page for fans who want to be kept up to date on the telco’s plans for matches.
The registration page asks users to answer vague questions such as “Are you and EPL fan?”, “Are you an Optus customer?” and “are you interested in broadcasting the EPL at your business premises?”
Optus clearly sees itself as a multimedia business and not simply a telco with live sport a big part of this. The Singapore-owned business already has the live streaming rights to the cricket and were reportedly sniffing about the NRL rights mid-last year before being outbid by the incumbents Nine and Foxtel.