Optus secures rights to UEFA Euros & National League

Despite a patchy performance broadcasting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Optus is said to have secured the rights to all major European international football for the next four years.

First reported by the Financial Review, Optus has acquired the rights to the 2020 UEFA European Championship – shortened to the ‘Euros’ – as well as the newly-formed UEFA Nations League.

Optus was not forthcoming with information, but did say: “Football continues to be a key pillar of our content strategy and we remain focused on being the home of elite international football in Australia.”

For the uninitiated, the Euros is contested by members of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and consists of 55 nations. The finals will next be contested in 2020, following the qualification process.

The Nations League is a newly-formed competition format that largely replaces international friendly matches. All 55 UEFA national teams are divided into four divisions, with promotion and relegation rules similar to that of domestic leagues.

The Nations League will commence in September 2018, with the winner announced in June 2019.

It is also reported that Optus is in negotiations to secure the rights to the UEFA Champions League, one of the world’s richest and most prestigious club football competitions.

Optus’ acquisition of the Euros and Nations League means that, over the next 12 months, the telco will air the English Premier League, 24 Group A Nations League matches, the Nations League finals, as well as the 2019 women’s World Cup.

That’s a lot of football.

The news comes after SBS secured the rights to one English Premier League match per week, as well as live streaming of those matches on the SBS app.

SBS aired all World Cup matches after Optus was plagued by streaming issues, admitting to not being prepared for the sheer amount of traffic that the telco would receive throughout the four-week period.  

More people streaming than watching traditional TV

Recent research by Canstar Blue suggests more people are now watching Netflix and streaming than watching traditional free-to-air or cable TV.

60 per cent of consumers surveyed reported that they stream, binge and log-on to streaming services more than they watch the old-hat TV services.

27 per cent also get their streaming subscription through their telco, be it Optus Sport, Foxtel Now or otherwise.

Nearly a third are also certified ‘top blokes’, letting friends and family log-in to their streaming account free of charge.

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