How to watch EPL live in Australia
Gone are the days when you could watch some live English Premiere League (EBL) games for free. In 2018, Optus announced that it had secured exclusive rights to live EPL broadcasts in Australia until 2022.
Prior to Optus’ acquisition, the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) had free-to-air rights to EPL Saturday night broadcasts since 2016. But now, you’ll have to sign up for Optus Sport for live EPL games. If you don’t mind replays, however, Foxtel and Kayo Sport broadcast prerecorded EPL games.
Here’s how to watch the EPL live in Australia:
You can watch live EPL games on your phone or streaming device using the Optus Sport app. Customers with Optus postpaid SIM plans that cost $49 or more per month get access to Optus Sport (and live EPL games) free of charge. Other postpaid customers have to shell out an additional $14 per month to get access. And if you’re not an Optus customer, don’t worry – you, too, can get access to Optus Sport for $14.99 per month. Just download the app from your app store and sign up.
You can also watch live EPL games on your computer or other devices by logging on to the Optus Sport homepage online. This also comes in handy if you have a streaming device or set top box that can’t access the Optus Sport app directly – just use the device’s browser to watch live EPL games on the Optus Sport website, or cast to your TV using your mobile device.
What is Optus Sport
Optus Sport is an entertainment platform for football and other sports. You can watch live EPL games as well as others on Optus Sport for a fee, or free of harge for some Optus customers.
Optus Sport user experience wasn’t initially the best. Users complained about constant lag and buffering when the 2016 world cup was broadcast on the platform. But despite how disappointing the platform’s performance was, Optus still registered over 700,000 subscribers at that time.
Now, Optus Sport is performing as good as ever. Optus have gained a number of sport league deals, making it a full-blown football powerhouse. Here are some of what you can find on Optus Sport:
- UEFA Champions League
- UEFA Europa League
- UEFA Nations League
- European Qualifiers
- J League
And you can catch more than live sport broadcast – Optus Sport has a dedicated football channel for around-the-clock access to highlights, replays of matches after they air, and sport analysis.
Optus and EPL agreement
Optus’ EPL takeover began in 2015 when the telco secured exclusive rights to broadcast EPL matches on Optus Sport. But the telco also ceded some live EPL broadcasts to other platforms based on contracts – for instance, a 3-year deal with SBS for free live broadcasts of the EPL on Saturday nights, for which Optus got 39 world cup matches in exchange. Foxtel also got some live broadcasts as a Pay TV service.
But in 2018, Optus announced it now had exclusive rights to all EPL games after SBS failed to renegotiate a new broadcasting contract with the telco successfully. The exclusive rights cost Optus around $60 million each season, but given the high popularity of the league, this seems to be a lucrative investment for Optus in the long run.
When Optus first signed the EPL deal, the company was under the stewardship of Alen Lew. I must admit, I had some questions about how successful his investment into streamed sports was going to be. It’s fair to say that it has worked.
Optus has turned their EPL contracts into a profit generating part of their business. The content they offer is exceptionally good and the EPL deal is now a key part of their strategic offering. Allen Lew has gone on from this to be CEO of SingNet, Optus’ parent company, which is another way of saying the scheme was obviously successful. As to whether Optus’ engagement in this sort of thing has changed the public perception of them overall, well, that’s another question.