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Optus Cops Media Caning Over EPL Soccer-Watching Deals

Optus yesterday copped a mountain of criticism after announcing pricing for its English Premier League soccer coverage with subscriptions starting at $15 a month, though “free” for those on mobile plans costing $85 or more.

EPL will be available only to Optus customers – officially at least. Those with an inclination to roam the Internet may find other sources.

Optus is believed to be paying $63 million a year for the EPL rights – sparking criticism that it might have put the money to better use improving its service.

The EPL service will also be available on Optus TV via Fetch’s personal video recorder set-top box – this is only available to Optus broadband subscribers.

Optus will also have a satellite option for customers which will incur a $250 installation fee, plus $20 a month to watch the EPL – however customers must again already have an Optus plan.

An Australian Financial Review report took a blunt stick to Optus, claiming : “Regardless of whether you can get Optus broadband at your home (many can’t); regardless of how much it will cost customers to switch to Optus from existing suppliers (a lot); regardless of the reality that it is easy to source EPL content by unofficial means online (head to Google); the telco has effectively decided to put a gun to potential customers’ heads.”

Over at The Australian, media editor Darren Davidson described the deal as “too pricey, too complicated” – and ultimately “a bum deal” for users.

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