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What we’ve learnt from the launch of the Premier League

Posted by (Thought Leader)
19th Dec 2016, 9:46am
PaulRybicki

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It’s December 2016, six months since we launched the Premier League on Optus Sport and brought live sport streaming to thousands of football fans for the very first time in Australia.

 

Since August, it’s been an incredible ride and I’d like to share some of the interesting insights we’ve learnt along the way.

 

Traditionally, Australians have always watched the Premier League on their TV at home. Since we launched Optus Sport, we’ve noticed that fans are watching a lot more content on their mobile and tablet. We built the Optus Sport platform with convenience and control in mind so that football fans would no longer be confined to watching the Premier League solely on TV - the huge uptake of mobile viewing we’ve seen is something we’re really proud of, plus we’ve tried to make mobile TV streaming as enjoyable as possible which is why, on selected mobile plans, you can watch as much content as you want on Optus Sport without using the data in your plan. (Please note: ads, authentication and analytics use data and may incur data charges).

 

As we expected, the most passionate Premier League fans still get up in the middle of the night to watch the games live. However, we’ve found that lots of you are watching the matches on demand too. For games available on demand, fans are loving the control they have over what they watch; you can choose to look at the whole match, use the scroller button to fast forward or rewind to the bits or goals you want to see or just catch the highlights.

 

The premium programming on Optus Sport has also proved popular; shows like Countdown To Kick Off, Football Today, Fan Zone and Fantasy League are fan favourites thanks to their exclusive content, top-quality punditry and unparalleled access inside the Premier League. Next year, as well as the incredible on-air talent of Mel McLaughlin, Mark Schwarzer and Michael Bridges,  fans can expect even more one-on-one interviews with top Premier League coaches, current players and former football legends.

 

And we’ve got more international tournaments coming too; this year we broadcast the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup but we’re already starting to get excited about the internationals coming up in 2017.

 

So you’ve heard all the good stuff but what are we working on to further improve Optus Sport? To start with, we know there’s a delay when fans are streaming the live games. At present, current technology and the nature of live sport streaming means there will be a slight delay no matter what sport you’re watching; the only way to avoid this is if you’re fortunate enough to be in the stadium. However for most fans who can’t be there, rest assured we are working tirelessly to improve the streaming experience. We've already reduced the delay significantly and over the next few months, we will continue to make improvements to reduce the lag even further.

 

We’re also aware that some fans don’t get to see their team’s games on demand every week. This problem is particularly tricky because deciding which games should be available on demand is subjective. If you’re an Everton fan, you’d like to see every Everton game made available on demand, right? Out of the 380 matches played each season, we are permitted to make a certain number of games available on demand; we have to make a choice about which games we choose and not every fan will be happy with the decision. However, we always listen to feedback from fans and make an informed, conscious effort to hero the right games or make replays available at times that are accessible. Plus we always highlight which games in the forthcoming round will be available on demand so fans can prepare to record the match in advance or catch a replay. Don’t forget that if you have a Yes TV by Fetch Mighty (Gen 3) set-top box, you can also record all your team’s matches to ensure you never miss a game.

 

Before I sign off, I do have to mention cricket. Along with the Premier League, we’ve now launched cricket on Optus Sport where you'll find an incredible 24/7 channel dedicated to cricket  this summer (on Optus Sport 2). The channel will show exclusive extended highlights and classic matches plus Optus Sport subscribers have access to the Cricket Australia Live app so you can watch live matches played in Australia on their mobile this summer.  Customers on selected mobile plans can also stream live matches data free on their mobile device too. (Please note: Ads, authentication, app analytics and content other than live games in the Cricket Australia Live app will incur data charges).  Personally I’m really enjoying the summer of sport on Optus, especially as I write this while Chelsea are still on top!

 

As usual, I’d love to hear your feedback or answer any questions you have. If you’d like to share your thoughts, just leave a comment below.

 

Comments
pju123
by New Contributor pju123
‎2017-01-12 09:04 PM

I have had  what i would call an average viewing experience for EPL with the main issue being poor connectivity. I do love the feature where i can tag a team and it will automaically record when they are playing. However, last weekend, the 'tag' seemed to go amiss and the recording was of a team that i don't follow and i couldn't find any recording of my team. Seems like the channel potentially changed and the EPG didn't pick it up(?). Either way it was disappointing to switch on Sunday morning expecting to see my team only to find two different teams playing.

Oethesaint
by Contributor Oethesaint
‎2017-01-14 09:58 PM

I would love a fetch tv mighty but coz I'm a mobile customer only you won't offer it to me. I'm with iiNet who have an exclusive very fast broadband offer here in Canberra, so switching to Optus broadband isn't an option for me.

 

I'm sick of missing the matches that aren't available on demand. Tonight both Swansea v Arsenal and West Ham v Crystal Palace, the two matches I wanted to watch, aren't available.

 

You talk up the modern Optus sport solution yet expect people to make an appointment to watch matches on a linear channel? It's ridiculous.  

 

 

Antonino
by New Contributor Antonino
‎2017-01-15 08:10 AM

There are pros and cons with Optus having the rights to the EPL. Quality of the streams being one of them. Foxtel in HD is no question infinitely better than the Optus stream. I'm guessing because we're only getting 720p. That is a big problem. On demand quality watching on my Fetch box and 60" TV is absolutely horrible. So much so, I can't even really stand to watch it and I opt for the live game at the ridiculous times of the morning just to be sure I can watch in the best quality available. At least with Foxtel I could record in Full HD and watch in Full HD.

 

Optus has a long way to go and I think they have made a great start and taken a huge gamble in trying to modernise delivery which I am all for. I just hope they continue to work tirelessly to deliver the quality and convenience that us EPL fans expect and deserve.

Kopite9
by Member Kopite9
‎2017-01-17 02:36 PM

Optus has made my PL experience at total nightmare. From selling me the wrong fetch box for my type of Internet  ( which you have provided for more than 5 years) to making me pay 30 for 24 months for a mobile sim I dont need. To that phone having a phone number that ppl are ringing to collect debts. Not to mention the phone line I've  had to get installed for DSL. Onto yesterday I was on the phone sorting yet another attempt at internet connection as you keep connecting it to the wrong address. Yet can manage to get the bills to the correct address. I am blowing my cap on my mobile constantly with data usage. And your company seems to just be happy to let me know im not being charged for the service im not being provided! I can not wait until you give up the rights and my world of football happiness is restored.

Marie
by Moderator Marie
‎2017-01-17 03:45 PM

Yikes! That's really disappointing to hear Kopite9 Smiley Sad

 

If you'd like to PM through your account details and we'll take a look at all of this for you and see what's going on so we can get it all resolved for you. 

 

I'll need your service number/ username/ account number and billing address as well as your full name and date of birth.

 

Cheers.

Kopite9
by Member Kopite9
‎2017-01-17 04:48 PM

I cant see a way to PM you

Marie
by Moderator Marie
‎2017-01-17 08:12 PM

Thanks Kopite9, I've received and responded to your PM.

taidenn
by Occasional Contributor taidenn
‎2017-01-23 01:41 PM

I understand that lag is an issue for live games, and while this is a huge annoyance for some, I'm happy to be 1-2, even 5 minutes behind the 'live' game.

HOWEVER, what I can't understand is that the game 'lags' when I'm watching it on demand. I invited a couple of friends to watch the On Demand replay of the Manchester United vs Liverpool blockbuster the day after the match. We chose to watch it on a laptop so we could connect it direct to a LAN cable - that was the plan to eliminate any WIFI connectivity lag issues.

We all did not read a letter of any news channel to keep the suspence. I switched Optus Sport on, the HD quality was great. And then... the replay lagged. Every minute. We spent 1 hour to watch the first 30 minutes of the match. In the end, we decided to watch the highlights only, and left it at that.

Imagine the pure embarrassment I felt, trying to explain that live games do not lag every minute even on WIFI.

 

And we still do not have a Windows app.

Shae
by RetiredModerator Shae
‎2017-01-23 02:03 PM

Definitely not the best experience taidenn and I'm sorry to hear that the situation happened while the game was On Demand Smiley Sad Looking at the On Demand content, there still needs to be a certain speed available in order to watch the games On Demand without buffering. Can I ask if the internet service you were using was an Optus internet connection or through another provider?

taidenn
by Occasional Contributor taidenn
‎2017-01-23 02:05 PM

Well, my broadband ADSL is with Optus... and has been for the past 4 years.. so... Smiley Happy

 

And if time of the day is an issue, we were watching On Demand at about 7.30pm onwards. We switched to Netflix after that and had no issues whatsoever.