Optus Sports is dominating the sports streaming industry in Australia
Recently, Australia’s third largest telecommunication company Optus revealed its number of active subscribers for Optus Sport. The company said it has amassed over than 700,000 active subscribers as it approaches its fourth year of English Premier League (EPL) coverage this weekend.
Recently, Optus Sport started a massive 12 months when the Premier League returned on Saturday 10 August with Liverpool v Norwich City. This is the first time when the sports streaming service is exclusively streaming every live match of the world’s most watched football league.
What is Optus Sport Service?
Optus Sport live streaming UEFA Champions League. Source
Optus Sport is an Australian group of sports channels that was launched on 13 July 2016. With this service, users can watch live matches in major leagues, including Premier League and UEFA Champions League match live. It also streams the UEFA Nations League, European Qualifiers, and UEFA Europa League.
In addition to streaming live matches, consumers can enjoy additional features such as post match analysis. The Optus Sports service also provides highlights, mini-matches, replays, goals, statistics, and special features for more entertainment.
The Singtel-owned network provider gained the rights to the EPL in late 2015 ahead of the 2016-17 seasons. After a rocky start, the company has slowly developed its football offerings, by adding FIFA World Cup, Champions League, Euros, Nations League, and Europa League rights in the following years. Optus hopes to boost its EPL coverage in the future.
Optus extends English Premier League rights out to 2022
Last year, Optus announced that it would retain its place in the sports streaming market for the coming three years, until the 2021-22 seasons. In an effort to provide access to all Australians, the telco also revealed that it would allow all viewers, including non-Optus customers, to stream the content at the cost of AU$14.99 monthly via Google Play and the Apple App Store. Previously, streaming was limited to Optus customers only.
According to the Optus head of TV and content Corin Dimopoulos, within the last year the network provider has seen major growth in its subscriber base and in the number of hours watched per person. The company didn’t go into details about the mix of subscribers, which are likely to be a mix of Optus Sport customers with broadband, mobile customers who have subscriptions as their plan inclusion, and non-Optus customers who pay to access the Optus Sports service.
Dimopoulos said that the consolidated portfolio has the Premier League, Europa League, Champions League, and the Nations League, meaning some weeks Optus offer a massive 54 live games of major league football.
Now, in the first year of its second EPL contract, Optus will show all games exclusively in Australia. The telco will no longer share a Saturday night match with SBS. Before the World Cup in Russia held last year, only Optus broadband and mobile customers could access Optus Sport, as a number of World Cup matches were aired on SBS. However, now the telco has provided access to the sports streaming service to all users.
The World Cup tournament was disrupted because of technical issues for Optus. Because of this, the telco chose to simulcast its previously exclusive games with SBS. Despite the hiccups, Optus is working on its ‘home of European football’ strategy. This could include getting rights for Italy’s Serie A, Germany’s Bundesliga and Spain’s La Liga.
The rival sports streaming service owned by Foxtel, Kayo, was previously focused on Australian codes, including cricket, AFL, NRL, rugby and A-League. Now, it also includes ESPN and BeIN Sports content, such as the NBA, which will release its latest subscriber numbers on Friday. As of May 8, Kayo built up a paying subscriber base with 209,000 consumers since it launched in November last year.
Sports with Optus
This season’s Premier League will be available for the first time globally on 5G mobile network. It will stream a live Premier League match to all football fans in Australia. The telco is working on rolling out its 5G cellular network, and while 5G is currently available in limited areas, the company represents a step change in the streaming technology with Optus accelerating its 5G roll out.
Optus had some major issues streaming the World Cup which led to many people predicting that the company would choose another direction instead of sports streaming. However, instead Optus have chosen to double down and increase their sports streaming service. The majority of viewers have surprisingly come around to the company, especially now that it’s not necessary to sign up for an Optus service to access content.
The number of subscribers is growing and those subscribers are watching more content. As Optus increases the number of sports it offers and hopefully works on preventing any more technical problems, the number of subscribers is set to soar.