OPTUS have thrown their first big punch in the sports media market, claiming the full broadcasting rights to the English Premier League in Australia.
Reportedly $50m annually over 3 years beginning at the start of the 2016/17 EPL season.
Fox Sports have lost the rights to the EPL and are facing major backlash from subscribers. Fox Sports have been the majority rights holder to the Premier League since the late 1990’s and established themselves as the home of the World Game in Australia.
The English Premier League is the most watched sporting league in the world and followed religiously by many hardcore supporters throughout Australia.
What remains unclear is how Optus will be able to provide coverage any where near the quality of the present service provided by Foxtel. This deal continues the fragmentation of major media rights within the Australian Market.
Question remain on the impact this will have on the A-League whose majority rights holder is Foxtel. The A-Leagues marketability has been on the back of the success of the English Premier League and without both products on the same platform World Game supporters may need to choose between a subscription to either Foxtel or Optus to choose the league they wish to watch.
Fox Sports, part owned by Telstra are said to be “disappointed” to have lost the rights to the Premier League.