Optus will soon reveal how Australia’s 1,677,000 English Premier League viewers can tune in (or live stream or catch up) when the next season starts in August. 96 per cent of these EPL followers (aged 14+) own a mobile phone, 77 per cent have fixed broadband in their homes— and they’re already well accustomed to video streaming and are more likely to be planning to switch provider in 2016, data for six months to December 2015 from Roy Morgan Research shows.
One in five English Premier League viewers with Fixed Broadband in their home (20 per cent) say they are very or fairly likely to switch Internet provider in the next 12 months—3 per cent points higher than the level of switching intention among all fixed broadband customers (17 per cent). And if history is any guide, they really are more likely to switch: 15 per cent of EPL viewers switched broadband provider in the past 12 months, compared with 10 per cent of all Australians 14+ with a fixed line service in their home.
EPL viewers are also more likely than other fixed broadband customers to stream TV, movies or video via computer during an average four weeks: 44 per cent compared with 38 per cent of all people with a fixed-line Internet connection at home.
Among Mobile Phone owners, those who currently watch the English Premier League on TV are 20 per cent more likely than the norm to switch mobile service provider in 2016 (18 per cent compared with 15 per cent of all mobile owners).
A massive 37 per cent of mobile-owning EPL viewers stream TV, video or movie content via their mobile phones—well above the average of 23 per cent.
Both fixed home broadband and mobile customers who watch the English Premier League have, as of December 2015, a marginally lower level of uptake with Optus for that service—by around 1 per cent point each. With around a third of all EPL viewers saying they almost always watch it, tracking how these most ardent followers respond to Optus’s upcoming offerings for internet and mobile plans, Fetch TV or subscription packages will reveal the short- and long-term ROI of this (and future) content and broadcasting investments.
After making deals over the past year with Netflix, Stan, the Olympics, Cricket Australia and now the English Premier League, Optus is clearly staking its claim as a content sponsor, partner, rights-holder, and channel. So what could be next…?
Fixed Broadband customers who watch Gymnastics on TV are the most likely to be planning to switch Internet provider in the next year (28 per cent), compared to the norm of 17 per cent and 20 per cent of English Premier League viewers, as seen above. Other sports with a high level of fixed broadband switching intention among viewers are IndyCar (27 per cent), Triathlon (26 per cent), Australian NBL Basketball (23 per cent) and Iron Man contests (22 per cent).
Two of these sports are also in the top five by mobile phone switching intention: Iron Man (20 per cent of mobile-owning viewers are likely to switch), and Triathlon (19 per cent). Also with an audience comprising 19 per cent mobile switchers is Figure skating, followed by Horse-riding and Boxing each at 18 per cent—the same rate (when rounded) as English Premier League.
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says: “Buying the exclusive rights to broadcast the English Premier League was a big move for Optus. Nearly five million Australians think that all telecommunications companies are the same. This widely held attitude reflects that—regardless of things like price, network coverage, data allowances, customer service and bundling options—the fundamental services they provide are basically the same no matter which you sign up with. We don’t love internet connections and 4G networks—we love the content it delivers.
“Optus now owns something that many Australians want, and will need to be intelligent about providing it in a way that feeds new customers, and revenue, back to its core services for the long term. The success of this Australian-first model depends on month-by-month, consumer-focused impact analysis in the lead up to and throughout the next season, and then beyond over the life of the three-year deal.”