Barry O’Brien backs new ‘hybrid’ telco startup Ovo to be as disruptive as Netflix

Chairman: O'Brien

Chairman: O’Brien

Former Network Ten sales boss Barry O’Brien has thrown his weight behind a new ‘hybird’ telco called Ovo, which aims to entice customers with exclusive and data free content.

The new service has inked a three year deal with V8 Supercars on launch to give its customers data-free access to a new app and the Supercars website, in a bid to tap into the 3.5m fans the sport claims to have in Australia.

But O’Brien told Mumbrella it was in talks with five other content and rights owners from the worlds of sport and entertainment in a bid to build an even more attractive offering.

O’Brien, who was CEO of media agency PHD and has a stake in another agency Atomic 212, is the chairman of Ovo’s parent company My Mobile Data.

ovo logoHe told Mumbrella: “We can’t go after the NRL or AFL right (both owned by Telstra) but it’s amazing when you get below the top tier sports quite how many opportunities there are. They’ve got massive and very passionate followings and are happy to talk to us. The idea is that we can give you stuff that others can’t.”

“Just as Netflix has redefined how consumers watch programmes, OVO changes how fans engage with sports and entertainment and consume content,” he added.

While that content will include live trackside commentary, live in-car stats and telemetery and behind-the-scenes exclusives it does not have any broadcast video, which is tied-up in Fox Sports’ deal with the sport.

The model follows that being forged by the likes of Telstra and Optus, which have both created new deals with sports codes in recent weeks in a bid to create a more compelling content offering for potential new customers.

Ovo will offer phone plans from $29.95 per month which will give fans two hours of unmetered access to the content per month, with the $69.95 plan including up to five hours of action.

The company has also been named as the official telco sponsor of V8 Supercars, and runs on the Optus network.


O’Brien said they would also look to integrate third-party advertising onto its platform in the future as another revenue stream. He said it would also launch its own marketing

The company is set to go live on Friday, December 4, with people able to buy sim cards online to be delivered in the mail.


Alex Hayes


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