SBS lose English Premier League rights as Optus lock down competition

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The English top-flight will no longer be broadcast at all on traditional TV in Australia

Free-to-air broadcaster SBS have failed to retain its rights to show one English Premier League match each round for the coming season, making Optus Sport the sole way Australians can watch the competition.

For the past three seasons, SBS have shown one EPL match each Saturday night after agreeing to a deal with Optus, who successfully outbid Fox Sports for the rights in 2015.

SBS's deal has however expired and TV Blackbox reports that they have failed to strike up any similar arrangement this season with the Premier League set to kick off on Saturday morning. 

Optus now boast no rival in Australia when it comes to England's top-flight with Fox Sports also recently removing their dedicated club channels in an attempt to save money. 

With their Premier League rights reportedly costing Optus over $60 million each season, subscription to Optus Sport remains relatively cheap for Australian football fans at $14.99 for one month. 

The final match day of last season in fact saw Optus Sport attract their highest ever viewing numbers as Manchester City held on to claim the title ahead of Liverpool.

That figure was then broken in June for the Champions League final with the streaming service on the rise having acquired the rights to both the UCL and Europa League

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"We’re delighted with the massive growth of Optus Sport this year and with the amazing feedback we’ve had from viewers," Corin Dimopoulos, Optus’ Head of TV and Content, said in June.

"Our broadcast has delivered non-stop thrills and drama and resonated strongly with the large number of football fans in Australia.

"Optus is proud of producing world-class sports coverage and our commitment to deliver must-watch entertainment has seen the volume of football games broadcast on Optus Sport almost triple in the last year.”

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