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Optus Sport secures six-year extension to Premier League rights, warding off rivals

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18th November, 2021
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Optus Sport has held off reported competition from Paramount+ and Network Ten to secure Premier League rights for an additional six years.

Optus has held the rights since taking them off Fox Sports in 2016 and has delivered strong content and growth over the period, with the company announcing on Friday it has passed one million subscribers to the streaming service.

Optus, which shows European and South American World Cup qualifiers and will have rights to the women’s World Cup in 2023, also said it had extended its rights to the peak British women’s league for an additional two years.

Optus was thought to be under threat from a rival streaming service especially Paramount+, which has paid $300 million to show the A-Leagues, Socceroos and Matildas over the next five years.[paramount

Optus’ VP of TV, Content and Product Development Clive Dickens said: “In the six years since securing the exclusive Premier League rights, Optus Sport has become the undisputed home of premium European football and has introduced new Australian audiences to the game whilst setting the benchmark on live sports streaming.”

Optus Sport said it had more than doubled its subscribers since 2018 with engagement is up over 49% year-on-year and nine of their top 10 most watched matches occurred during 2021.

The EURO 2020 England vs Italy final broke the Australian record for a live sports streaming event, with almost one million households watching the match live, Optus said.

While no figure for the deal was announced, it came on the same day that American broadcaster NBC renewed its television deal with the Premier League in a new six-year agreement worth around $2.7 billion ($A3.7 billion).

That figure is almost double what the company, the home of Premier League coverage in the United States since 2013, paid for their current contract back in 2016.

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The new deal goes some way to offsetting the STG2 billion ($A3.7 billion) Premier League clubs have lost since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the next three years the Premier League will filter STG1.6 billion ($A3 billion) down the football pyramid, having earlier on Thursday announced a further STG25m ($A46m) of COVID impact funding to clubs in Leagues One and Two and the National League.

The Premier League has already completed its international broadcast sales processes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but there are deals in the rest of the Americas and Asia Pacific still to be concluded and further increases in revenue will also see solidarity payments to EFL clubs go up.

“Interest in the Premier League is going from strength to strength and it is great to see the growing global demand to watch our matches and engage with the league,” said Premier League chief executive Richard Masters.

“Our international and domestic broadcast revenues over the next cycle will give stability and certainty to the game as a whole, which is particularly important as football recovers from COVID-19 losses.

“We are proud to provide more investment into our football pyramid than any other football league in the world.”

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