It’s a brave new world, and let’s be honest, this is the future. Sports rights and other key content we want to watch are now being found on different streaming services and accessible by a whole new bunch of methods than ever before. But it also comes with a catch – Subscriptions and alliances to companies like Telcos. So, just how do you watch the English Premier League in Australia?
Before you go scouring the internet or asking your mates who probably don’t really know the answer, here’s our top questions about how to watch the EPL and the answers we’ve gathered based on the announcements, our own briefings with Optus and just outright asking the question of Optus.
Why Optus? Well, in case you’ve been living under a rock – Optus purchased the English Premier League rights recently, and not just mobile streaming – everything.
Is the Premier League only available to Optus Customers?
Simple answer – yes. You must have an “eligible” Mobile, Mobile Broadband or Home Broadband plan with Optus.
There’s a bit of a fun one there – “eligible” – well, firstly if you have an account you should contact Optus to confirm. But if you’re looking for a simple way to describe it – it excludes any mobile plan that’s prepaid, or is less than $30 a month on a contract, less than $35 a month SIM Only no contract postpaid. Also, Home Wireless Broadband customers are not eligible.
What if I don’t have any Optus accounts or services?
Easy – get one. Sure that sounds flippant, but lets face it, this is why Optus bought the rights in the first place. They want you to be an Optus customer. Now if you’re happy with your non-Optus home broadband and mobile plans, then you’re going to need one just for the EPL access. Of course, if you’re off contract and are willing to switch, you can simply take your mobile number with you and Join Optus, or get Optus Internet at home. That’s the most cost efficient way to get it, because then you’re not subscribing to an additional service just for the EPL.
The cheapest “add on” plan if you’re not willing to switch your mobile phone or home internet – is the $30 SIM Only 12 month contract, or if you want to narrow it down to just the season, get the $35 per month SIM Only month-to-month plan (no lock in contract).
How much does the EPL cost on top of my Optus Plan?
If by July 31 you are an existing Optus Customer (on eligible plans) – nothing. The 2016/17 season will be free. The app is available now, and content has started streaming (highlights and re-runs).
If you don’t sign up before the end of July, you’ll have to pay for the EPL.
Likewise, for the 2017 season (starting in August 2017), the EPL will cost $15 per month for Optus Customers who are paying less than $85 a month for their mobile or home broadband plan. If you’re spending $85 a month, the EPL will be free for as long as Optus holds the rights to it!
What about my Big-Screen TV at home?
Here’s where Optus have put a fair bit of thought into this. Sure it’s great to have the EPL on your mobile, but what about the big-screen.
Yes TV by Fetch is the Optus home entertainment centre. The Fetch TV box will have Optus’ EPL channels streamed via your internet connection. You’ll be able to pause, rewind and even record EPL games.
The new Fetch TV mini box will also be available for just $5 a month for Optus Mobile customers, so for just $5 a month you’ll get a Yes TV by Fetch Mini box, which gives you the EPL channels via your home broadband, as well as all the other Fetch features like Netflix, Stan, Presto, Movie rentals and Free-to-Air TV. Fetch Mini does not have the capability to record though.
If you have a new generation Apple TV (the one with the fancy new remote), there will be an App for Optus Sport in the App Store allowing you to watch the EPL direct via your internet connection on the big screen.
For people with older generation Apple TV boxes, you will need to use your mobile device or tablet and AirPlay the live stream to your Apple TV.
Can you have more than one Fetch TV box at home?
Nope. Optus only supply a single Fetch TV box per home. A bit silly really, given you can go and buy two Apple TV boxes, but that’s the situation right now.
What if I don’t have a great internet connection and live in rural Australia?
There is also an Optus Satellite option available for those who either can’t get broadband with Optus or who don’t have a reliable broadband connection.
Satellite is available for an extra $20/month + $250 installation fee. The Optus satellite service is a dedicated Premier League broadcast channel that will provide all the live Premier League to a STB (different from the Yes TV by Fetch box) that connects to your TV.
This is also the solution Optus is installing for Pubs and Clubs who want the EPL.
Does the Optus satellite service need a broadband connection?
Optus Satellite is not streamed over the internet, so you won’t need a broadband connection. Instead, it will use a satellite to provide the Premier League direct to your home. Optus Satellite is only available if you are on an Optus Premier League eligible plan AND have an Optus Premier League subscription.
It is – for simplicity – Satellite TV. No Internet involved.
What if I don’t have Optus Broadband at home or can’t get it where I live?
You can watch the EPL on the Fetch TV Mini box with just an Optus mobile account. However, using it on another network will mean you get charged for the data used when watching EPL games. This could be anywhere from 500mb to 1GB per hour – so keep that in mind.
Optus Mobile customers can get Fetch Mini for $5 a month so it’s a pretty cost effective smart set-top-box for your home.
When do data charges apply for watching the EPL?
If you are an Optus Mobile and Optus home broadband customer watching at home via your Fetch or on your mobile will not incur data costs.
If you’ve only got one Optus service and not the other, wherever you stream the EPL via another provider it will count against your data allowance for that provider.
So, for example, an Optus home broadband customer, watching the EPL on the Optus Sport app connected to the Vodafone or Telstra networks will incur data usage charges against your data inclusions with Vodafone or Telstra.
Likewise, an Optus Mobile customer who watches the EPL on their home WiFi network either while their phone is on WiFi or using the Fetch TV box connected to their home broadband – that streaming will count against your home broadband data allowance.
Where exactly can I watch the EPL?
There’s the Fetch TV and Fetch TV mini boxes – only those provided by Optus (under the Yes TV by Fetch branding) will have the EPL channels.
Then there’s the Apple TV 4th Generation box.
Optus Sport will be a website showing all the live content for your PC or Laptop, and finally, there’s the Optus Sport app for Android and iOS smartphones.
How many games will be shown Live?
Every single one of the 380 matches will be shown live and uninterrupted by ads during gameplay.
How many games will be available on-demand after they are played.
Strangely, Optus has the rights to hold onto a little under 300 games per year for you to watch on-demand if you miss them. So if missing a match is a common thing for you, get the Yes TV by Fetch “Mighty” box so you can record all the games yourself!
What content will be shown on the Optus Sport Channel?
As well as all the live games, there are also a bunch of “magazine” shows as well as the pre and post match coverage. This coverage comes from the EPL itself, they have a bunch of hosts, commentators and experts providing a broad coverage of the sport.
When no games are on, you’ll always find football content on the Optus Sport channel. Key programs include a Premier League news show during the working week; Weekend shows including Kick Off, Matchday Live and Fanzone News and Weekday shows including Football Today, Fanzone, News.
Football fans can start enjoying Optus Sport from today when you’ll have access to Premier League highlights and re-runs. From 22 July, football fans can watch the International Champions League via Optus Sport. The Premier League season will kick off on 13 August.
Any Australian content or shows on Optus Sport?
None at this stage, though Optus have not ruled out creating something locally in the future.
What about Free to Air TV?
Optus has granted a small amount of rights to SBS who will show a game each week on delay – good for the irregular fan of the game in general, but fans of a particular club and those looking for the live games will need an Optus account.
Will the EPL be on Foxtel?
Easy one. No!
Though Foxtel have announced they’ve signed deals with several clubs, that content is not live games, or even replay games. It’s the “club TV” content like Magazine shows or behind the scenes stuff. Good, but not great right?
Got a question? Hit the comments below – we’ll get the answer and provide it here for everyone!