Thursday, 17 March 2016 12:38

Optus: English Premier League plans unveiled including 2018 FIFA World Cup

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Optus has announced its English Premier League plans which include expanding its football offering with the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Fans of the English Premier League (EPL) and soccer now know what Optus has planned, which not only includes the 2016/17 EPL season to be ‘broadcast across a range of television, mobile, online and out-of-home viewing platforms’, but also live transmission of all 64 matches of the 2018 Men’s World Cup (sub-licensed from SBS), as well as other FIFA events including the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup over a range of TV and internet-enabled devices.

The 2016/17 EPL Season broadcast details are as follows:

  • Australia’s first ever 24/7 football channel dedicated exclusively to the English Premier League, and carried on Optus’ subscription TV platform, Optus TV with Fetch. With up to ten sub-channels, Optus will accommodate every match of every round live, so fans never miss a minute of the action on match day;
  • A mini set-top box device which allows mobile customers an entertainment experience on their TV screen, via Optus TV with Fetch. It includes access to 35 premium entertainment channels, and the ability to pause and rewind the action;
  • An Optus EPL App for mobile and tablet devices, giving customers access to Optus’ 24/7 EPL channel with un-metered mobile and fixed broadband streaming of live games. The Optus EPL App will be progressively offered via selected media TV player devices and Smart TVs;
  • Optus’ EPL website which will feature live matches for subscribers, as well as news and exclusive content;
  • A free-to-air sub-licence which will see one match per round broadcast live on SBS for the next three seasons; and
  • The Optus satellite broadcast platform for customers who either can’t access Optus’ broadband services, or can’t get High Definition content via their broadband service. The satellite service will also deliver live games via Optus’ EPL channel to commercial premises, including pubs and clubs.

Allen Lew, Optus CEO said: “With Optus, football fans are spoiled for choice. 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.

“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.”

Promising ‘more EPL News and Analysis than ever before’, Optus boasts of a ’24/7 dedicated EPL channel will give fans access to the most insightful and comprehensive match coverage, EPL news and analysis ever offered in Australia,’ including:

  • Brand new pre and post-match magazine shows and game-day analysis live from the UK, including Matchday Live, Football Today and Kick Off;
  • New daily EPL news programming and interactive shows such as Fanzone;
  • A full suite of English Premier League-produced programs including World, Netbusters and the Saturday and Sunday Review shows; and
  • On-ground match analysis and reports provided by the Premier League’s own pool of experts.

For those wishing to register their interest, Optus says that EPL will be exclusively available to Optus customers, with ‘full pricing details’ to be ‘unveiled mid-year.’

EPL fans, pubs and clubs, and other venues that are interested in accessing EPL can are advised to register their interest for EPL updates including news, offers, pricing and technical support at the Optus EPL site.

More below, please read on

Enhanced Network Experience

Optus is also boasting of having ‘invested more than $1 billion annually over the past ten years to build faster, stronger and more resilient networks, capable of delivering an exceptional experience for data-hungry customers who love to stream content.’

Optus’ ongoing network investment program is yielding results with the performance of its mobile and fixed networks recognised through independent testing, including:

  • The Netflix Internet Service Provider Index has ranked Optus’ fixed networks as the best for prime-time streaming for the last six consecutive months;
  • Optus has delivered the fastest streaming experience for Stan customers for the last five consecutive months (October 2015 – February 2016 - info provided by Stan); and
  • the P3 Comms Day Benchmark has ranked Optus’ mobile network as the best along major roads and highways.

“In 2016, we will deliver a range of game-changing entertainment experiences for customers, using network technology, innovative content delivery platforms and our growing line-up of sport and content partnerships,” Optus CEO Lew concluded .

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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