Optus partners with Twitter and YouTube for Uefa competitions
Optus, the Australian telecoms group, has struck deals with Twitter and YouTube to broaden its coverage of European soccer's top clubs competitions.
Optus Sport will simulcast four Champions League games on YouTube and six Europa League games on Twitter when the competitions return this week.
The agreement covers the last 16 and quarter-finals of the Champions League, and the last 32, last 16 and quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Corin Dimopoulos, Optus head of TV and content, said: "These exciting collaborations with YouTube and Twitter mark a major opportunity to leverage the world's biggest international club competitions and amplify our incredible live programming of these tournaments.
"We will continue to showcase our exceptional live productions and at-ground presence which we have successfully delivered since securing the rights of these two competitions this season."
Olly Wilton, head of sports partnerships at Twitter Australia, added: "Football is one of the biggest drivers of conversation on Twitter in Australia, so we’re excited to collaborate with Optus Sport to bring these live matches from the Uefa Europa League to Twitter."
His counterpart at YouTube Australia, Andrew Paterson said, “Over the past six months, Optus Sport has done a fantastic job establishing its YouTube channel as the home for European football highlights. We’re thrilled to be working with the team at Optus to continue evolving their strategy and to bring selected live Uefa Champions League games to Aussie audiences on YouTube for the first time."
Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund will be the first game to be streamed under the partnership, kicking off at 7am (AEDT) on 14 February, with Malmo versus Chelsea in the Europa League to follow 24 hours later.
Optus is in the first season of a three-year Champions League and Europa League rights deal.
Champions League rights in Australia were previously held by international pay-TV broadcaster BeIN Sports, which sub-licensed a package of matches to SBS, the public-service broadcaster, for the 2015-16 to 2017-18 cycle.
Optus also holds rights to England’s Premier League in a deal that has been extended until the end of the 2021-22 season, as well as Uefa’s Euro 2020 and new Nations League competition.
It also shows major Fifa competitions, but was forced to give up exclusivity over matches at the the 2018 Fifa World Cup because of technical issues.
Optus ultimately allowed SBS to show the entire tournament (the broadcaster was initially restricted to 25 live matches) after struggling to broadcast games on its website and mobile applications, with many Optus Sport subscribers complaining of connection issues, dropouts and other faults.