Fans of the English Premier League (EPL) hoping for a more egalitarian delivery method for the world’s largest football competition are sure to be disappointed after Optus outlined its plans for the 2016/17 season.
The telco is offering its EPL package for $15 a month but only to those with some other eligible Optus plan and no plan will stream games in HD.
This means the minimum monthly cost fans will pay for the EPL through Optus is $55 a month on a $40 plan with the $15 additional EPL cost on top. This plan only comes with 500MB of data per month, which is just enough to stream one EPL match. Luckily, the service is not metered on this plan.
Optus has not even attempted to hide the fact that this is a shameless move to attract more broadband and mobile customers. The company’s managing director for marketing and product, Ben White, said in a statement, “Optus research shows that close to two in three (63 per cent) football fans, who are not already Optus customers, are out of contract for at least one of their fixed broadband or mobile services.”
A new app for viewing the EPL will be launched for compatible smartphones and tablets and a website will be launched for viewing via a web browser.
Fans who want to watch the EPL on their TV have even fewer options. The ISPs Fetch set top box is the only route in this format but it will cost you $90 per month on a 24 month contract. Worst of all, this price is only available when bundled with an eligible Optus mobile plan.
The total cost of a deal like this to someone not using Optus for their mobile is $110 per month.
For this you do get unlimited data and free standard, national and mobile calls but the plan is still costly compared to others on the market.
According to an Optus spokesperson, the cheapest way to watch EPL on your TV screen is for $60 a month ($40 postpaid mobile plan + $15 a month for EPL + add the mini device for $5 a month).
"This gives customer access to the EPL on demand via the big screen, plus more than 35 premium Fetch channels. You need a broadband connection to connect the mini device, but this is a good option for people who don’t want to change their broadband provider," the spokesperson added.
The structure of the deal is clearly designed to lure EPL fans away from their Foxtel subscriptions and on to Optus plans.
Those who can’t live without the EPL will have to bite the bullet and Foxtel customers will lose their one stop shop for football with the A-League still under a deal with the Pay TV provider.
The new service offers a 24/7 EPL channel with up to nine sub-channels. Viewers can watch their team play live by choosing from matches played in conjunction with one another. The channel will also feature EPL news and analysis.
“We’re confident that when these fans see our range of great value EPL-ready plans, they’ll be convinced that now’s the right time to switch,” White added.