Monday, 07 May 2018 12:04

EPL 'has paid off' for Optus: Roy Morgan

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Optus's decision to acquire the Australian rights to English Premier League football seems to be having the desired effect, according to new research.

"Telecommunications company Optus took a huge gamble nearly three years ago by purchasing the Australian coverage rights to the English Premier League for $63 million per year," said Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine.

"However, the latest research from Roy Morgan shows viewers of the EPL have definitively boosted Optus subscriber growth for both fixed broadband and mobile services over the past three years."

According to the market research company, 19.8% of Australians used Optus for their main mobile phone service in 2015 before Optus acquired the EPL rights.

Three years later, that share had risen to 20.9%. But among those who regularly or occasionally watch EPL matches, it rose by four percentage points to 23.8%.

It was a similar story with fixed broadband: Optus's overall market share rose by 2.9 percentage points, but 4.7 percentage points among EPL watchers.

Roy Morgan Optus EPL

What this type of consumer research can't reveal is whether the profit associated with the additional customers was enough to cover the $63 million annual bill for the rights.

It is tempting to suggest it wasn't, because when Optus recently revealed that it had secured rights to the next three EPL seasons, it also announced that it would make the coverage available — at a price — to those who aren't its customers, as well as to customers on plans that didn't qualify them for EPL access.

The standalone Optus Sport package — which also includes all 64 matches in the 2018 World Cup — will be available later this month via Google Play and Apple's App Store for $14.99 a month. The apps can be used in conjunction with Chromecast or Apple TV for big-screen viewing.

It is also available on Fetch and via certain Web browsers, according to the company.

"One of the great things about Australian football fans is their passion for the sport, and we're elated to extend our Premier League broadcast rights for another three seasons," said Optus chief executive Allen Lew.

"This shows our long-term commitment to provide exclusive premium content and our transition to be a multi-media entertainment provider. Fans have shown that they love what we are doing in bringing the best club competition in the world to Australia and we look forward to taking it to the next level over the next four years."

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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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