Optus has retained the Australian rights to English Premier League soccer for a further four seasons.
Despite competition from other pay TV providers, Optus has retained the rights to the richest soccer league in the world through its Optus Sport streaming subscription program.
Optus will air every Premier League match from 2019 through 2022, consisting of all 380 matches.
The telco has also announced that it will be the only place to watch all 64 2018 FIFA World Cup Games live in Australia.
Optus Sport is now also available to non-Optus customers. Previously you had to be either a phone or interest customers to gain access.
The streaming service costs $14.99 a month and is also available through many postpaid Optus phone plans and internet plans from $80 a month.
Optus CEO Allen Lew said: “One of the great things about Australian football lfans is their passion for the sport, and we’re elated to extend our Premier League broadcast rights for another three seasons. This shows our long-term commitment to provide exclusive premium content and our transition to be a multi-media entertainment provider.
“Fans have shown that they love what we are doing in bringing the best club competition in the world to Australia and we look forward to taking it to the next level over the next four years.”
Premier League Executive Chairman, Richard Scudamore, said that expanding football coverage in Australia will be a boon for the sport.
“Optus is an excellent partner for the League and we look forward to continuing to work with them to make available the best possible Premier League content to fans across the country,” Mr Scudamore said.
Throughout the World Cup, customers will watch coverage through two 24-hour channels, with all 64 matches live and on-demand, as well as pre and postgame coverage and other various sports programs.
We have extended our #PremierLeague coverage until May 2022 AND announced a monthly #OptusSport subscription option for all Australian viewers – allowing you to watch all 64 matches of the 2018 FIFA #WorldCup and the Premier League beyond!
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) May 1, 2018
The live sports landscape in Australia
Optus’ purchasing of English Premier League (EPL) rights a few years ago further segmented the live sports market in Australia. Previously, EPL matches were on Foxtel, which is a joint venture between News Corp and Telstra.
In the 2015 bid for rights, Optus reportedly committed to $63 million per annum.
Foxtel recently acquired rights to Australian cricket after the sport enjoyed a long tenure on the Nine Network. This came as part of a deal reported to cost $700 million over six years.
The Seven Network will also simulcast Test matches and 43 Big Bash League games. The total rights deal for both Foxtel and Seven is reported to cost $1.18 billion.
In the second season of its EPL coverage, Optus reported a growth in the postpaid handset market by 127,000 customers in the third quarter – a record quarter for sales.