After its epic World Cup failure, Optus snaps up the broadcasting rights for the Champions League -- and more

Chris McGrath/Getty ImagesSoccer fans, brace yourselves.

Optus has secured the Australian broadcast and transmission rights to the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup for the next three years.

The telco says it again demonstrates “its commitment to becoming the home of premium football”.

The latest acquisition follows Optus’ epic failure to handle the broadcasting of the FIFA World Cup which left many customers unable to watch most matches from its streaming app.

When it first glitched, Optus called on free-to-air TV broadcaster SBS to simulcast all World Cup games for two days as a band-aid solution to it problem.

When that didn’t work, SBS announced it would broadcast World Cup matches on free-to-air TV until the end of the group stage on June 29, while Optus offered to refund people who paid $15 to subscribe to its exclusive service.

It got so bad the telco eventually relinquished the responsibility to the SBS for the rest of the tournament.

While there had been some murmurs of concern two years ago when Optus announced it had secured the rights to the World Cup 2018 finals — an $8 million deal — none of those concerns were for technical issues.

As Business Insider’s Peter Farquhar put it, the incident was arguably “the biggest PR fail an Australian telco has suffered for quite some time, in a country where telcos specialise in PR fails”.

Optus announced the new deal today, calling the UEFA Champions League “the most prestigious international club competition in the world”.

“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.”

The upcoming tournament will feature last year’s winner Real Madrid, Manchester City, Liverpool, Barcelona and Juventus, the team Cristiano Ronaldo recently signed up for.

As part of the deal, Optus Sport will also show live and exclusive the UEFA Super Cup on August 17 AEST between the winners of last season’s Europa League, Atletico Madrid, and the winners of the Champions League, Real Madrid.

NOW READ: Here’s why you need to get used to not ever watching the FIFA World Cup – or any big sports event – for free

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