Optus Singtel will be looking to right the wrongs of its previous FIFA World Cup coverage with the company purchasing the exclusive Australian rights for the 2019 and 2020 Club World Cup competitions for Optus Sport.
In a statement released by the company, Optus said it would be the only place to watch the 11-day tournament live and see Liverpool FC chase down their first-ever FIFA Club World Cup title.
The tournament, which starts this December, will be exclusively streamed on Optus Sport for 700,000 plus active subscribers.
It comes after the company announced it would be pushing further into sports broadcasting with Optus launching 4K Ultra HD Live Football content from selected games.
While the 2019 competition will not be available in 4K Ultra HD, the Qatar tournament is part of Optus’ ‘commitment to showing Australians the best clubs from around the world’.
In addition to the broadcast rights, Optus will also be introducing a brand new in-house live 90-minute football show called Scores on Sunday.
The show will feature a rotating panel of hosts including Mel McLaughlin, Richard Bayliss and Niav Owens, as well as Heather Garriock, Mark Schwarzer, John Aloisi and Alicia Ferguson.
Optus Sport now holds the rights to Premier League, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, Barclays FA Women’s Super League and the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, which will see all 51 matches streamed live.
The company has also reportedly made a $30 million bid for the rights to broadcast the Rugby Union, including Tests and Super Rugby after Rugby Australia stepped away from Foxtel’s $20 million deal.
As covered by ChannelNews, Rugby Australia is now believed to be in consultation with Optus, with the telco potentially offering upwards of $30 million for the exclusive broadcasting rights.
The move is being described as an attack on both Foxtel and Kayo Sports stranglehold on live sports.
Though according to the governing body ‘no formal negotiations with the broader market have yet taken place’ indicating that ‘a formal rights offer process at an appropriate time before the end of the current rights period’.
‘Seven boss David Leckie claims ‘the Rugby Australia board has sat back and allowed [this] to happen’.
‘Make no mistake, rugby in Australia is in a very precarious position right now’, and Optus Sport may be reaping all the benefits.