In case you missed it, or live in one of the less fortunate northern states and don’t understand the nuance of the world’s greatest game, the AFL has today signed a $2.5 billion, 6 year deal with News Corp, Seven West Media (Channel 7), and Telstra beginning in 2017 covering media distribution.
In the past few years Telstra has been in a partnership with the AFL to provide the Official AFL Live app. This partnership will continue but for the next 6 years the service will be
exclusive to Telstra customers only which up until now anyone, on any network could access. Now, all AFL matches and events, including the entire finals series and Grand Final, as well as the Brownlow Medal ceremony will be able to be accessed by Telstra customers only.
The AFL Live Pass will not be restricted to Telstra Customers. Telstra has confirmed that the app will be available to anyone to download and sign-up. The confusion stems from Telstra Group Managing Director of Telstra Media and Marketing Joe Pollards statement ‘give Telstra customers exclusive access to live streaming of all AFL matches and events’. According to the SMH this statement is being amended after Telstra agreed it was misleading.
– Thanks to Adam Turner from the SMH
The Telstra deal covers not only mobile apps, but extends to other properties such as offering extended highlights and replays via online and IPTV platforms, which includes the proprietary Telstra TBox and the upcoming Telstra TV box (provided by Roku) which will go on-sale next month.
The AFL app is one of the more popular sports streaming apps, garnering 84 million video streams to date this year, an increase of 22% on last year. Those kind of numbers and growth are the impetus for Telstra’s willingness to spend this kind of money.
While no one is a fan of exclusive deals, when Telstra are forking over $300 million as part of the record breaking 6 year deal it should be expected. It is unclear whether the current pricing structure and setup will continue but with Telstra investing this much money it is expected for them to continue to expand their offerings in this area.
I for one am looking forward to see what Telstra do to develop this streaming media experience and as such will not deviate from my Telstra sim any time soon. The exclusivity deal seems to be working with me. Anyone else?