Optus responds to criticisms with cheaper English Premier League access
Optus is seemingly responding to fans angered by its initial English Premier League football offering by providing free access to the 2016/2017 season on plans starting from AUD$30 per month. The offer is available to new customers who sign up to postpaid, SIM-only, mobile broadband, and home broadband plans priced at a minimum of AUD$30 per month before July 31st. After July 31, EPL access will be billed at AUD$15 per month for anyone spending less than AUD$85 per month on their plan. Prepaid customers are excluded for from the free EPL offer.
Existing Optus customers may also be able to get a season worth of free EPL access; while the telco hasn't stated exactly which plans will get a subscription, it has a tool where subscribers can check if they qualify on its website.
Optus' EPL coverage will be viewable online, through smartphone apps for iOS and Android, Fetch TV (for Optus home broadband customers), and the upcoming Fetch TV Mini. The Fetch TV Mini is designed for Optus mobile subscribers who can't get Optus home broadband, or don't want to switch home broadband providers. While details are scarce, Optus says it will offer the new device to mobile customers for an additional AUD$5 per month. Optus says Fetch TV Mini will require a fixed line broadband connection to work.
It is not yet clear whether Optus' EPL app will support Chromecast or Apple TV at launch.
When Optus first revealed its EPL packages in early May, it drew the ire of football fans for ostensibly holding the sport hostage. While non-Optus customers are able to view one game per week through SBS, watching the remainder requires an active Optus subscription of one kind or another.
In some ways, Optus' EPL exclusivity isn't that different to when Foxtel held the rights. However, unless one is an existing Optus customer, getting EPL access requires cancelling one's existing broadband or mobile plan to take up another. Foxtel, on the other hand, is simply a carrier neutral addition.
Perhaps a pricier, standalone subscription for non-Optus customers would be a reasonable compromise?