AFL boss slams Optus TV Now appeal

Summary:"Stupid", "disgusting" and "disappointing": those are the words that Australian Football League (AFL) boss Andrew Demetriou has used to describe Optus and its CEO Paul O'Sullivan as the telco prepares to appeal the recent TV Now decision to the High Court.

"Stupid", "disgusting" and "disappointing": those are the words that Australian Football League (AFL) boss Andrew Demetriou has used to describe Optus and its CEO Paul O'Sullivan as the telco prepares to appeal the recent TV Now decision to the High Court.

Optus yesterday announced that it would ask the High Court to consider an appeal on the judgment against its TV-recording service, TV Now. TV Now was ruled to be in breach of copyright regulations by the Federal Court, following complaints made by the AFL and the National Rugby League (NRL).

The service, which allows users to record free-to-air broadcasts to the cloud and play them back on a variety of devices, was suspended by Optus as a result of the ruling.

Optus CEO Paul O'Sullivan yesterday said that the telco will seek leave to appeal the case, adding that he is confident that the High Court will hear the appeal, as it is of "national importance".

The AFL boss said that he hopes Optus' bid to the High Court is unsuccessful, adding that he is particularly disappointed with O'Sullivan's comments yesterday. Demetriou then descended into an all-out mud fling at the telco giant.

"They are a disgusting organisation who is acting reprehensibly again, and now putting more uncertainty into sports and broadcast rights going forward," Demetriou told AFL Media this morning.

Demetriou's outburst is the latest in a string of inflammatory comments aimed at Optus. The CEO landed in hot water in February, after he encouraged customers to ditch Optus in favour of Telstra, with which the AFL has a $153 million contract for broadcasting matches on mobile devices. Optus was, however, unsuccessful in its attempts to silence the AFL boss.

Josh Taylor also contributed to this report.

Topics: Cloud, Legal, Optus, Telcos

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A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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