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Optus lands Cricket Australia streaming rights

Cricket Australia Logo 2003After a three year hiatus Cricket Australia has a new telco streaming partner with Optus locking in for three years, offering its customers live local and international streams unmetered.

The announcement comes three years after Vodafone abandoned its cricket sponsorship and the streaming rights as its sought to trim ten of millions of dollars from its budgets.

Previously Vodafone paid Cricket Australia $10 million annually for the naming and streaming rights. Along with live streaming of matches it also developed an app that was used in conjunction with the Nine Network to deliver “viewers verdicts” on umpiring decisions during matches.

Cricket Australia took control of the app after Vodafone withdrew its sponsorship and also assumed the sales of streams. However, with no telco partner subscribers were forced to take the streams under their phone plan data limits severely restricting the mobile value of the offer.

Optus’ decision to go after the summer market mirrors the approach that has been taken by Telstra with it’s AFL and NRL streaming service during the winter months.

Along with on ground signage, tickets, hospitality and the live match streams, Optus will also pursue an exclusive content play with access to players to create bite-sized content for Optus customers.

Cricket fans not with Optus will still be able to purchase streaming on a day rate.

Optus CEO Allan Lew said the deal with Cricket Australia was part of the push to become a content-led communications provider.

“Our focus on premium content will play an important role in our strategy as we seek to differentiate ourselves,” said Lew.

The content strategy kicked off earlier in the year when Optus struck a strategic alliance with Netflix as it entered the Australian market.

The Telco is also driving content out of its relationship with Tennis Australia and the Australian Open.

Simon Canning

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