Optus extends Premier League rights deal in Australia

Telco also announces new direct-to-consumer subscription service.

Optus extends Premier League rights deal in Australia

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Optus has renewed its agreement to broadcast English club soccer’s top flight, the Premier League, in Australia.

The Australian telecommunications company will provide exclusive live coverage of every match for a further three seasons, from 2019/20 to 2021/22.

The deal also includes full on-demand, replay and short-form rights for all 380 games per season.

Optus first acquired rights for the Premier League in November 2015 in a deal that covered the 2016/17 to 2018/19 seasons, replacing pay-TV operator Foxtel as the league’s rights holder in Australia.

The agreement was reportedly worth AUS$63 million (US$47 million) a year, and caused controversy due to the restricted access to the Optus Sport channel, which is available to Optus mobile and internet customers only.

However, on Tuesday, the telco announced the launch of a new direct-to-consumer subscription option, which will allow all Australian viewers to access Optus Sport for AUS$14.99 (US$11.28) per month via an app available from Google Play and the Apple App Store. This can be watched on mobile devices or on TVs via Apple TV and Chromecast devices.

The new subscription service will be made available ahead of this summer’s Fifa World Cup in Russia, when Optus Sport will provide coverage of all 64 matches from the tournament, which will be available for the first time to non-Optus subscribers and Optus customers.

In signing up to show the Premier League until 2022, Optus is understood to be the fourth overseas broadcaster to acquire rights for the league’s coming three-year cycle, following ESPN in Brazil, SuperSport in sub-Saharan Africa, and NBC in the United States.