Rugby is usually a paid-for, premium TV product in Australia, but that’s about to change thanks to one of the country’s most innovative mobile plan providers.
OVO Mobile, a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) on the Optus network, has announced a new digital broadcasting deal to stream the John I Dent Cup from July.
The John I Dent Cup is the ACT’s premier rugby competition – usually the last step ACT players make before debuting for the Brumbies in Super Rugby.
Users can stream each ‘Match of the Week’ from the Cup. The coverage will also show highlights, interviews and behind-the-scenes content.
Streaming of the ‘Match of the Week’ will be free using the ‘OVOPlay’ app, and if customers have an OVO Mobile plan, they can stream data-free as well.
“Club rugby is in the midst of a resurgence in Australia. The fact that we had more than 140,000 online views just in the ACT and southern NSW of John I Dent matches last year shows the size of the audience for our sport,” said Brumbies General Manager of Commercial Partnerships, Tom Fallaw.
OVO Mobile has also hinted at plans to expand the rugby coverage to also include other state leagues, such as the Shute Shield in NSW, or Premier Rugby in Queensland.
“We’re excited to be working with one of Australia’s best-loved sports and help build their club level audience,” OVO CEO Matt Jones said. “The Brumbies have been pioneers in bringing Club Rugby to mobile, and we’re all set to help them capitalise on growing interest in the foundation competitions of the sport in this country.”
The OVOPlay app also airs Australian Water Polo, Gymnastics Australia, various motorsports and more.
OVO Mobile was established in 2016 and has five prepaid mobile plans, starting at under $10 a month, and a selection of mobile broadband plans starting at less than $20.
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Is streaming popular through mobile plans?
Streaming is a burgeoning trend among telcos that aim to differentiate themselves from the rest.
OVO Mobile is not the only telco to offer some form of free or data-free streaming, but it is almost certainly one of the cheapest.
Telstra offers free and data-free streaming of AFL, NRL, Netball and AFLW through its partners’ respective apps. Almost all Telstra plans have this feature.
Alternatively, Optus also offers data-free streaming as a $5 add-on feature. Many prepaid plans also get a bonus 10GB to use solely for streaming Netflix, Stan and ABC iView.