Optus has renewed its deal for the exclusive Australian rights to the English Premier League (EPL) for a further three seasons, from 2019 to 2022.
The telco poached the rights from Foxtel in 2015, paying $US150 million ($A200m) over three years, and began coverage for its subscribers in the 2016 season via a 24/7 online football app for smartphone and tablet that fans could hook up to their TV.
Roy Morgan estimates Australia has around 1.7 million EPL viewers.
Optus originally used the subscription service as a loss leader in a bid to lure new customers when it launched, but emboldened by its success, but says it will now open up the subscription to non-Optus customers, as CEO Allen Lew says the business shifts into becoming a “multi-media entertainment provider”.
By the end of May, Optus Sport will be available to both non-Optus customers and previously ineligible Optus customers for $14.99 per month via Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Subscribers will also have access to Optus Sport’s 2018 FIFA World Cup coverage, including two 24/7 channels, the competition’s 64 matches, both live and on-demand, and other programming.
The company says the new direct-to-consumer subscription option to Optus Sport will be the only place to watch all the 2018 FIFA World Cup games.
39 matches will be only available live and exclusive through Optus Sport, including all of Lionel Messi’s Argentinean team group stage matches.
O Allen Lew said his company was “elated to extend our Premier League broadcast rights for another three seasons and the Optus Sport App will provide greater flexibility to watch the World Cup.
“We’ve optimised the app to be compatible with all major smartphones, as well as web browsers, Apple TV and Chromecast,” he said.
Free-to-air broadcaster SBS will air 25 games – one match per day simultaneously during the World Cup
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