Not content to let Optus capitalise on providing football streaming to Australians, Telstra has secured the rights to broadcast the Hyundai A-league to fans – beginning with the first match of the 2018/2019 season. Increasingly, telcos are pairing up with sporting codes to secure either full broadcasting rights, or the right to broadcast over devices. This focus on sports streaming via smaller devices reflects how viewers are shifting from regular TV broadcasts in favour of watching games on their smaller, more mobile screens.
The Hyundai A-League
While Optus has secured the rights to the hugely popular English Premier League, the World Cup and the Champions League, Telstra have gone for football a little closer to home – the Hyundai A-League. Beginning with the Round One match between Adelaide United and Sydney FC, Telstra will be streaming live, fast, and data-free for Telstra customers. The matches and extra content are available through the Telstra Live Pass and the My Football Live app.
Fans of domestic football will be added to the 2.3 million current sports streaming subscribers on Telstra’s Live Pass. The My Football Live app has already streamed selected domestic and international football matches in the lead up to the start of the Hyundai A-League season. The deal extends to 2023, and includes all A-League fixtures.
The A-League 2018/2019 season should be particularly exciting for fans, with marquee players like Keisuke Honda and Samantha Kerr coming to the leagues, as well as some of Australia’s best-known footballers coming home to play in our league.
The My Football live app will also include FFA Cup, Westfield W-League, Caltex Socceroos and Westfield Matildas games. Socceroos home friendlies and some of the Asian Cup and FIFA World Cup qualification matches will be live-streamed through the app. However, the content is not just limited to the matches – the app hosts football news, match replays, live radio (including a “listen live” feature), team and player stats, and text-based match commentary.
How to Access the A-League
The live, fast and data free streaming of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season will be available to all eligible Telstra mobile customers. Non-Telstra customers can purchase a $99.99 annual Live Pass, $16.99 monthly Live Pass, or $4.99 weekly Live Pass. As a special introductory offer for non-Telstra customers new to any existing Live Pass, the annual pass can be purchased for $79.99 until 15 January 2019.
For fans who would prefer to watch the matches live, Telstra are offering $20 tickets to select A-League matches, as well as some Socceroo’s and Matilda’s home fixtures from $15. The My Football Live app is available from the App Store and Google Play Store.
Benefits to Telstra
Broadcasting used to be simpler, with a single company having the rights to show all content relating to the code. However, now providing matches to the masses often takes two forms – on the one hand, companies like Foxtel retain the rights to show content on the TV, while other companies take charge of streaming to devices. In some cases, “casting” or sending the content being streamed on your phone to the TV to watch it on the big screen is allowed, but often the device size is restricted.
This has allowed companies like Telstra to get on board with sporting codes that would otherwise be taken up by broadcasting giants like Foxtel, and to claim a share of the market that these companies are less able to reach.
The Future will be Streamed
Traditional broadcasters are taking a risk by letting telcos take a share of their rights. More and more, customers are choosing to watch content on their mobile devices. The TV has the benefit of a bigger screen, but with mobile phones being so accessible and especially when combined with the offer of data-free broadcasting, it certainly seems that live-streaming from devices is the way of the future.
Streaming mobile broadcasts to the TV eliminates even the problem of the smaller screen, allowing content to be shown on the larger viewing platform but still making use of the more interactive mobile content. The future of TV broadcasting will be mobile, having all of the benefits of flexibility and affordability, and few of the drawbacks.
Telstra’s acquisition of broadcasting rights for the Hyundai A-League will make it easier than ever for fans to access matches and extra content, and even tickets to live matches. For A-League on-the-go – and access to other sporting codes – Telstra’s My Football Live app is a pathway to connect fans to the game they love.