Thursday, 22 October 2015 11:28

Cricket Australia deal brings exclusive content to Optus

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A three-year sponsorship agreement between Optus and Cricket Australia (CA) makes the telco CA's official mobile multimedia partner.

What that means for Optus is that from 29 October it will be able to give 'eligible customers' (it's not clear who qualifies) a free Cricket Australia Live Pass.

That gives them access to "the best cricket action this summer" on cricket.com.au or the CA Live App, via the Optus 4G Plus network or a mobile broadband or home broadband service.

If they are on one of Optus's latest mobile plans they will also be able to stream live matches on the CA Live Pass without being charged for the data used.

Live coverage includes test matches against New Zealand and the West Indies, one-day internationals against India, T20 internationals against India; and the Big Bash League.

Optus warns that the live streams may lag live broadcasts by several seconds, and will require Android 4.0 and up, or iOS 7 or 8. Owners of Windows phones are out of luck.

Bonus content at cricket.com.au/Optus includes extended match highlights, complete media conferences, the Optus Top 6 ("an irreverent series hosted by an Australian cricket legend"), player interviews and insights with members of the Australian men's and women's cricket teams, and highlights of classic matches.

The company also gets on-ground signage at international matches, plus "access to Australian players for promotional purposes, as well as tickets, hospitality and money-can’t-buy-experiences for customers."

Optus CEO Allen Lew said “what better way to reaffirm our commitment to delivering the best premium entertainment for our customers than bringing them Australia’s national sport."

He added "This partnership with Cricket Australia marks a significant milestone for Optus as we transform to become a content-led telecommunications provider. Increasingly, customers look to Optus for an experience they can’t get anywhere else. Our focus on premium content will play an important role in our strategy as we seek to differentiate ourselves."

(This Optus customer would prefer the company to concentrate on broadband delivery rather than content, but there's Buckley's chance of that happening during the NBN rollout. Apart from anything else, such deals cause market distortion by entangling what should be two separate decisions: which carrier you use, and which content you buy.)

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said "we're glad that through this new partnership we can offer Optus customers a range of exclusive content developed just for them. This is a very exciting partnership for Australian cricket and in many ways helps support the game’s privileged position as Australia’s favourite sport."


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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