Optus and SBS to show EPL and World Cup games

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 17 March 2016
Optus and SBS will broadcast the English Premier League for the next three seasons.

Optus will create a 24/7 football channel to cover the next season of the English Premier League on Optus TV via Fetch. SBS will sub-license exclusive free-to-air coverage of one game per round for the next three seasons.

In addition, Optus and SBS will team up to cover the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Optus' plans are similar to BT's foray into the Premier League. In the UK, BT has a dedicated football channel and has exclusive rights on a selection of games. It has assembled a panel of high profile ex-players, including Steve McManaman, Michael Owen and Rio Ferdinand to lead its coverage.

Optus will transmit live coverage of every FIFA World Cup game across multiple TV and internet enabled devices, with SBS covering one live game per day, four of the round of 16 games, two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the final.

“Through our partnerships with SBS and the English Premier League, Optus is completely reinventing how Australians engage with football. We are delighted to be collaborating with SBS to give Australians an unrivalled viewing experience, with the option to watch football on the platform and device of their choice,” Optus CEO Allen Lew says.

SBS managing director and CEO Michael Ebeid adds: “International football is at the very heart of SBS and our purpose to inspire understanding between our diverse multicultural communities.

“These innovative agreements disrupt the old models of TV delivery in Australia and also ensure SBS can responsibly invest in an ongoing commitment to providing fans with universal and free access to international football, in our rapidly changing media landscape.” 

Optus coverage includes:             

  • Australia’s first 24/7 football channel dedicated exclusively to the English Premier League, and carried on Optus’ subscription TV platform - Optus TV with Fetch. There will be up to 10 sub-channels so that Optus can show every game of every round live.
  • A mini set-top box device that allows mobile customers an entertainment experience on their TV screen, via Optus TV with Fetch.
  • An Optus EPL app for mobile and tablet devices, which provides access to Optus’ 24/7 EPL channel with unmetered 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 will feature live matches for subscribers as well as news and exclusive content.
  • A free-to-air sub-licence that will see one match per round broadcast live on SBS for the next three seasons.
  • 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.
  • Brand new pre- and post-match magazine shows and game day analysis live from the UK, including Matchday Live, Football Today and Kick Off; 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.

  • On-ground match analysis and reports provided by the Premier League’s own pool of experts.

  • Every game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and coverage of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in which Australia will be playing and the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

SBS coverage includes:

  • Exclusive free-to-air rights of one EPL game each round as well as a full replay within 72 hours.
  • Simultaneous free-to-air rights to 25 games in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, including first pick on one live game per day, four of the round of 16 games, two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the final.
  • Free-to-air rights of some games of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, in which Australia will be playing, and the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Optus' EPL coverage will be available to its customers with full pricing details to be revealed mid-year. Fans, pubs and clubs can register their interest here.

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