ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE to disappear behind OPTUS paywall after SBS fail to secure new deal
Australian Football fans will need to get use to paying for access to the EPL, after free-to-air broadcasters have failed to secure rights to this years season.
With the 2019-2020 English Premier League season kicking off this weekend, Optus will now be the exclusive home of the competition in Australia.
SBS had held free-to-air rights for a Saturday night 'Match of the Round' game for the last three seasons. The weekend match often aired in primetime and was a significant audience drawcard for the government broadcaster.
In 2016, SBS negotiated a 3-year rights football rights deal with Optus. The agreement involved SBS trading away 39 World Cup matches in exchange for Saturday night EPL coverage. That deal has now expired.
Foxtel has also scaled back its football coverage. Three dedicated EPL club channels have recently been removed from the pay-tv provider as part of a cost-cutting move, with Foxtel desperate to lower its sports rights expenditure.
Optus has held broadcast rights for the EPL since late 2015. The telco is reportedly paying $65 million per season to secure the popular football code.
The Optus Sports coverage costs $15 per month, but can be free if you subscribe to an eligible mobile or home phone plan.
The opening round of the English Premier League will see Optus broadcast the following matches.
Liverpool Vs. Norwich City – 5am (AEST) Saturday, August 10
West Ham United Vs. Manchester City – 9:30pm (AEST) Saturday, August 10
Watford Vs. Brighton – 12am (AEST) Sunday, August 11
AFC Bournemouth Vs. Sheffield United – 12am (AEST) Sunday, August 11
Burnley Vs. Southampton – 12am (AEST) Sunday, August 11
Crystal Palace Vs. Everton – 12am (AEST) Sunday, August 11
Tottenham Vs. Aston Villa – 2:30am (AEST) Sunday, August 11
Leicester City Vs. Wolverhampton – 11pm (AEST) Sunday, August 11
Newcastle United Vs. Arsenal – 11pm (AEST) Sunday, August 11
Manchester United Vs. Chelsea – 1.30am (AEST) Sunday, August 11