Telstra Pushes Importance of Sporting Rights


Telstra Pushes Importance of Sporting Rights

Telstra has now doubled down on the importance of its sporting rights digitally. Just in time, as negotiations between NRL and AFL are underway, the pair hoping to come to an agreement on a broadcasting deal.

The formation of a brand new plan titled Go Mobile has been announced by the mobile provider, which aims at getting families to bundle their mobile devices together in a unique and ambitious move.

Users will be allowed as part of the pitch to pick up either a year’s free access to NRL and AFL streaming, or six months of free access to Presto, the subscription-video-on-demand platform.

With the war between mobile companies such as Telstra, Optus and Vodafone heating up, this new deal underlines the importance of services such as entertainment and sports streaming. Optus is currently offering new subscribers half a year free on Netflix, whilst Stan and Spotify are available to Vodafone customers on certain mobile deals.

According to Telstra, this year alone has seen more than 45 million minutes of AFL and NRL content combined streamed on mobile devices, and this new offering comes as the rights to both the AFL and NRL are in market.

This week has seen key advertising figures admit that the rights are now risking being blown out of all proportion with television networks continuously and increasingly seeking live premium sport as a way to gain consumers.

IPG Mediabrands global chief executive Henry Tajer said that it was all getting a little silly whilst speaking to the Australian Financial Review.

“The AFL, NRL, and Cricket Australia are getting to the point that if they don’t moderate their aggression for increased valuation on their rights, they are going to implode,” he was quoted as saying.

One part of the overall rights deal that has been overlooked however is the digital rights, which includes live streaming. Telstra does remain in the box seat to retain digital rights with the support of Foxtel, and there’s now the growing prospect of either TV broadcasters or codes themselves making a play for the rights.

Speaking to AdNews, NRL marketing boss Lewis Pullen previously said that the NRL won’t be making a play themselves as the timing isn’t right. “That is always a possibility, but it’s unlikely during the current rights cycle. Maybe the next one, but it’s probably a bit too soon for the current cycle,” he said.

Services such as Stan have also been mentioned, but with an overall $100 million joint venture budget, it’s thought that they’d be locked out of negotiations completely.

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