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Optus extends English Premier League rights out to 2022


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Optus CEO Allen Lew


(Picture: Corinne Reichert/ZDNet)

Optus has introduced its acquisition of English Premier League (EPL) broadcast rights in Australia, retaining the competitors for an additional three years out to the 2021-22 season.

In a transfer to open up entry to all Australians, Optus has additionally revealed that it will likely be permitting all viewers, together with non-Optus clients, to entry the content material for AU$14.99 per thirty days by way of Google Play and the Apple App Retailer.

“We’re elated to increase our Premier League broadcast rights for an additional three seasons. This reveals our long-term dedication to supply unique premium content material and our transition to be a multimedia leisure supplier,” Optus CEO Allen Lew informed media on Tuesday morning in Sydney.

Lew was not capable of inform ZDNet how a lot Optus paid for the acquisition, or whether or not there was robust competitors in bidding for the rights.

“[The acquisition] feeds precisely into what our technique is — if you concentrate on it, on the finish of the day, the place we need to take Optus is to have the ability to provide a premium cellular community to our clients, premium content material, and all at an reasonably priced value or a aggressive value,” Lew informed ZDNet in an interview.

“So I feel extending the Premier League for the subsequent three seasons till 2022 permits us to proceed engender in our clients’ minds that we’re not nearly constructing networks.

“Elite soccer is a niche that is out there when it comes to obtainable content material to Australians, and we have definitely put a really clear marker in that area,” Lew added, with former Socceroos participant Mark Schwarzer pointing in direction of Optus’ 24-hour entry as a broadcast rights differentiator.

Forward of the FIFA World Cup 2018, which kicks off in June, Optus has additionally introduced an over-the-top (OTT) providing, which will even be made obtainable to non-customers for AU$14.99 per thirty days throughout cellular, internet browser, Chromecast, and Apple TV.

“For the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, Optus Sport would be the solely place the place Australians can watch all 64 video games in excessive definition, reside and on-demand,” Lew stated.

“We can’t cease with simply Premier League and the World Cup; we are going to proceed to supply different high-class top-notch soccer content material to make sure that Optus Sport would be the house of elite soccer. So preserve your ears to the bottom as a result of we hope to have the ability to make an imminent announcement of extra unique soccer content material coming to Optus Sport in 2019.”

Based on Lew, he’s not nervous that providing Optus Sport to non-customers will stop Australians from signing up for broadband or cellular companies, as it’s all about constructing relationships. Australians do not like content material sitting behind a paywall, Lew stated, and it is all about getting extra folks to “expertise a relationship with Optus”, which can result in extra transactions.

Optus’ self-described transformation into a multimedia company started with its unique acquisition of the unique Australian broadcast rights for the EPL again in November 2015.

In July final yr, Lew informed ZDNet that Optus has the Premier League subscriber numbers it was anticipating, however needs to ramp this up in the course of the 2017-18 soccer season by implementing extra “interactive” and multimedia-focused components to the expertise.

“The primary season has gone nicely for us. For us, it was primarily proving to ourselves that we might do it, and that we set out the correct course of and techniques to convey a reside match all the way in which to Australia and have a dependable community,” he stated.

“It has been a studying expertise for us; our investments when it comes to deepening the depth of our community, creating higher capability, enhancing the pace, that is definitely given us the arrogance to have the ability to do even higher in season two than we did in season one.”

On the similar time, Optus introduced an entertainment partnership with National Geographic, in what Lew informed ZDNet can be the telecommunications firm’s subsequent transfer to develop into a “mobile-led multimedia service supplier”.

Lew on Tuesday informed ZDNet of Optus’ plans to proceed making its personal media content material to take a seat round its EPL and World Cup choices, in addition to sustaining its relationship with Nat Geo to construct extra customized content material there.

“I feel whether or not it is Nat Geo factual content material or EPL, we’re beginning to make our personal content material. I imply proper now, it is a complement in soccer’s case. The reside content material that we do — and you may see rather a lot taking place on the World Cup — and also you take a look at the success of that and see what we will do within the subsequent 4 seasons that we’ve of Premier League, how we will complement what’s coming from the reside video games,” Lew informed ZDNet.

“We’re not going to create motion pictures or create TV sequence within the brief time period, however definitely we imagine that we’ve the abilities to create content material that goes across the reside video games definitely in Premier League. And when it comes to factual content material in Nat Geo, we’re nonetheless dedicated to work with this excellent world organisation … to create one thing that may have interaction Australians.

“As we converse, we’re in discussions with them about what artistic content material we will do collectively that leverages their historical past and their model identify and data of the market that ultimately will add worth to what we’ve.”

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