Will Premier League fans say “yes” to Optus?
With Optus buying the rights to the Premier League from 2016-17 in Australia, we can expect the sports broadcast market to shift considerably25 February 2016 | FT Editor
After making deals over the past year with Netflix, Stan, the Olympics, Cricket Australia and now the English Premier League, Optus is clearly staking its claim as a content sponsor, partner, rights-holder, and channel.
They may have said ‘no’ to the A-League and the Socceroos after several years as telecommunications provider, but Optus appears to be banking on a good proportion of Australia’s 1.7 million Premier League fans to say ‘yes’ when the new season starts in August.
Roy Morgan Research released research today that shows 96% of Premier League followers aged 14 have their own mobile phone and 77% have fixed broadband in their home.
In terms of fixed line broadband, Premier League fans are also more likely to switch providers, with 15% doing so in the previous 12 months compared with 10% of other Australians aged 14 . They are also more likely to stream TV, movies or video content via computer – 44% compared with 38%.
Amongst mobile phone owners, 37% of mobile-owning EPL viewers stream TV, video or movie content on their phone, compared with 23% of other mobile phone owners.
With one-third of all Premier League viewers saying they “almost always” watch it, the rate of uptake of Optus’ upcoming offerings for internet and mobile plans, Fetch TV and bundled packages could have a big impact on short and long term ROI of future sports content and broadcasting, as well as the domestic rights agreement with FOX Sports.
“Buying the exclusive rights to broadcast the English Premier League was a big move for Optus,” according to Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan Research.
“Nearly 5 million Australians think that all telecommunications companies are the same. This widely held attitude reflects that —regardless of things like price, network coverage, data allowances, customer service and bundling options — the fundamental services they provide are basically the same no matter which you sign up with. We don’t love internet connections and 4G networks, we love the content it delivers.
“Optus now owns something that many Australians want, and will need to be intelligent about providing it in a way that feeds new customers, and revenue, back to its core services for the long term. The success of this Australian-first model depends on month-by-month, consumer-focused impact analysis in the lead up to and throughout the next season, and then beyond over the life of the three-year deal.”
epl, tv rights