Optus announces EPL broadcasting via Fetch, apps, website

The telco has laid out its plans to return to sports broadcasting, an area it has not been involved with since the Australian pay TV battles of the '90s.

Optus has announced that it will be broadcasting the English Premier League (EPL) via its Optus TV platform on the Fetch set-top box, as well as through apps, a website, a satellite service for more remote viewers, and a sub-licence with the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

Optus' new 24/7 football channel, available over its subscription platform Optus TV with Fetch, will provide access to up to 10 channels, ensuring every EPL match is broadcast live.

The Optus EPL App, meanwhile, will be available for both mobile and tablet devices, offering unmetered live streaming for mobile and home broadband customers. This will also be carried across certain smart TVs.

The website will broadcast live matches for subscribers, while those living in more rural areas without high enough quality home or mobile broadband will be able to watch matches via satellite connection.

Optus' deal with SBS will see the broadcaster show one match per EPL round live over the next three seasons, with Optus in return receiving a sub-licence to broadcast the 2018 FIFA World Cup over TV and mobile devices.

"As the only telco in Australia to own and operate network infrastructure across all three mobile, fixed, and satellite platforms, we are in a unique position to deliver the English Premier League and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to more Australians, in more ways than ever before," said Optus CEO Allen Lew

"Broadcast has been a key part of our services since the inception of Optus' satellite business. We have developed rich expertise in broadcasting and have a long history in delivering high quality live broadcasts via our satellite fleet."

Optus in November won the exclusive Australian broadcast rights to the EPL for the next three seasons beginning August 2016, taking the most-watched football league worldwide away from pay TV provider Foxtel's Fox Sports.

In what Lew called "a great win", the telecommunications carrier secured the rights to live broadcast all 380 Premier League games in every season until mid-2019 across home broadband and mobile, with Lew saying it confirms Optus' commitment to providing streaming and media content.

"This is another significant step in our strategy to become a mobile-led multimedia company," the chief executive said at the time.

"We are dedicated to delivering the best domestic and international entertainment for our customers. With 930 million followers worldwide, the Premier League is one of the most sought-after sports properties for content providers."

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