Australian Telecoms company wins Premier League TV rights

Optus, an Australian telecoms company and a major sponsor of the country’s football league has won the exclusive broadcast and digital rights to the English Premier League.

With companies not synonymous with exclusive football rights entering the fray more than ever in 2015 (with the likes of the Champions League awarded to BT Sport in the UK and the Copa del Rey with YouTube), it’s another sign that the rights to football competitions are heading in the mobile accessible direction.

It’s been reported that Optus outbid the current rights holder Fox Sports to secure the three-year deal which is thought to be worth approximately AUD$50 million annually (approx £23.13 million). The telecommunications company will hold the rights to all 380 games from the league each season between 2016 and 2019.

Previously offering a television service in the 90s and the early 2000s known as Optus TV, Optus found strong resistance from Foxtel which saw Optus amalgamate its television services.  While it is unclear how Optus will use their new rights to the Premier League in 2016, it is thought that they might use them to headline the launch of a new online subscription service or sell the right on as a package to traditional broadcasters.

What is certain that the purchase of these rights continues Optus’ venture into sports broadcasting as it looks to lure mobile and internet customers to its service in the same way fellow telecoms company Telstra has with the AFL broadcast rights. Optus also purchased a package of digital rights from Cricket Australia last month and their latest purchase is a sign that they might not be finished just yet.


About author

Matt Tewhatu
Matt Tewhatu 155 posts

Matt is the editor of Digital Sport and Chief of Snack Media's rugby division and has a journalistic background both here in UK, Australia and in his native New Zealand. Follow him on Twitter @mtewhatu

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