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Optus delays pre-orders for its English Premier League packages

Optus has delayed taking pre-orders for its new English Premier League packages telling customers it was taking time to give them a better experience, in a move that could be a signal it reacting to anger over its pricing and packages.

The telco was meant to have opened its pre-orders over the weekend – the final weekend of the EPL on Foxtel – before the code moves over to Optus after it secured the EPL in a surprise move last year with the new season kicking off in August.

Optus has delayed pre-orders for the EPL

Optus has delayed pre-orders for the EPL

In an email sent to thousands of people who had expressed interest in subscribing to the EPL with Optus, the telco apologised and said information on pre-orders was still a few weeks away.

“We can’t wait to share next season’s action with you, like you’ve never seen it before,” the email said.

“We had planned for the Premier League Pre-Order site to open at midnight on 15th May. We are committed to making it as easy as possible to set yourself up for the Premier League. That means taking a few extra weeks to make the experience as smooth and painless as possible. Please bear with us. It will be worth it. Pre-Order will open soon.”

Last week the telco said it would have the technology, which includes a complex app and new 24/7 station on Fetch TV, ready for the start of the season.

The email also urges people to get their local pub to subscribe to the Optus EPL package.

“Encourage your pub to register its interest,” the email said, although it gave no details of how that would be made available.

The delay could be a signal that Optus is rethinking its strategy on pricing and packages after a massive backlash from football fans when it revealed its pricing last month.

The company announced the EPL would not be available as a standalone product, but would be bundled with either phone packages, broadband or a Fetch TV package.

Having invested $60m per year for the next three years, Optus aimed to recoup the investment charging anyone on a plan worth less than $85 per month $15 per month to access the sport.

Football fans took to social media to express their outrage, with many complaining that they were already committed to phone or broadband plans and would effectively have to sign up for a second service to get the EPL.

Reports today suggest Optus is also eyeing up a bid for the A League rights. However the first and last rights held by Foxtel would make such a move difficult for them.

Optus’ surprise win of the EPL, which was on Foxtel, has been countered by the subscription TV company which launched three new BeIn sports channels over the weekend.

Foxtel has also signed individual deals with six EPL clubs which will allow them to broadcast their games on delay.

Optus has not responded to requests for comment from Mumbrella at the time of publication.

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