Yesterday we published a piece on how Australian Telco Optus had practically alienated the whole EPL audience in Australia. Upon reading a few reports from back from November I discovered something that could be even more alarming for Australian Football fans that follow the sport on an International level.
A deal was made between SBS and Optus
You see around the time Optus paid $63million a year for the Premier League rights they also negotiated with Australian TV channel group SBS on the World Cup rights. This deal meant that Optus got exclusive rights to show all the FIFA World Cup games for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. SBS will still have the rights to show one live World Cup match a day and all Socceroos games.
For Socceroos (Australian National Football Team) supporters this is a relief. The problem is though that Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. We have people who will be cheering on Italy, England, France, Portugal, just to name a few, this deal means these sets of fans, myself included could have to resort to the subscription service should their team not be chosen to be aired on free to air tv.
Worrying news for Football Fans
This only leads to the question as to what Optus plans to do with the World Cup rights. Will they offer similar plans to those offered for the EPL, practically alienating anyone not with the Telco provider, and those not on certain plans? Or will they this time offer plans that actually consider football fans across the country? Plans that are short term, just for the FIFA World Cup, and don’t require people to move provider, or change mobile plan for a month of football.
I guess only time will tell, but this is something that is deeply worrying for all who support a national team throughout Australia. So, on behalf of Football fans throughout Australia, please Optus, PLEASE think about the sport, think about the world game, the game that unites people across the world, just think about it properly this time round. Please.