As the European Championships come to an end this Monday morning (AEST), with the English playing the Italians, club football from around the world will soon be back on the agenda for football fans across Australia.
This forthcoming season, however, Australian audiences will find their favourite football content in different locations.
New streaming services have entered the market and existing ones have stepped up their appetite for football broadcasting rights, giving the consumer more choices, but potentially a bigger hit to their wallets.
For example, whilst the EPL will remain on Optus Sport for next season at $14.99 a month, the telco has lost the rights to show the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and other UEFA associated club tournaments to relatively new streaming service Stan Sport.
Stan acting CEO, Martin Kugeler, said at the announcement of the three-year-deal: “Since Stan Sport launched in February, we have been delighted with the way Australians have taken up the service.
“The addition of the UEFA Club Competitions, including the UEFA Champions League, represents a unique strategic opportunity that will continue the momentum for Stan Sport and aligns directly with the Nine group sports strategy.
“Featuring the most outstanding players in the sport, the UEFA Club Competitions bring together the best clubs for more than 400 matches of world-class football.
“We can’t wait to showcase the most prestigious club football tournaments in the world and we thank UEFA for its trust in Stan to deliver their iconic football products to Australia.”
Stan Sport costs customers a minimum of $20 a month, meaning Australian football fans must now pay $35 a month to watch the Champions League and EPL across the two services, a jump of $20 a month on previous rates.
Alongside this, the A-League, W-League, FFA Cup, Socceroos and Matildas matches will not be shown on Foxtel’s Kayo Sports service, with those rights migrating to Network 10 and Paramount + in August, a brand-new streaming platform which will cost fans $8.99 a month.
Beverley McGarvey, Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President at ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand, said at the time of the agreement with FA: “Today marks a new era for Australian football. This landmark agreement gives all Australians access to more football than ever before.
“We are thrilled to partner with Football Australia and are proud to provide National Teams football and the FFA Cup unprecedented reach and exposure across our many platforms including on Network 10 and our new streaming service Paramount+.
“We will be showcasing all Socceroos, Westfield Matildas and FFA Cup matches, which not only complements our recently announced rights deal to broadcast every A-League and Westfield W-League match but reinforces our commitment to football in this country.”
Kayo Sports still has the rights to a suite of BEIN Sports content which includes the Serie A, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Scottish Championship, for which they charge $25 a month (although you can subscribe to BEIN directly for $20 a month).
Throw in Sports Flick for $14.99 a month, which showcases some of our local stars in leagues such as the K-League and Chinese Super League, being a football fan in Australia is becoming more and more of an expensive proposition.
The fragmentation of the football rights in Australia means if you want to subscribe to watch all of the football content on these streaming services, it will cost you a minimum of around $80 a month.
Of course, there are bundled deals with broadband connections which may cheapen the price of some these services, but that depends on an individual’s setup.
With millions of Australians also already signing up to entertainment services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon, many will find it hard to justify the price of all of these platforms for the world game – as limits will be reached.
Therefore, certain leagues and football content are likely to be prioritised by certain consumers, which may leave some services behind in the competitive marketplace.
Hypothetically, Paramount + could be a first-choice priority for many football fans, as it is cheaper than the other services, offers more than just sport on their platform and is the only place to watch all of the A-League, W-League and national teams.
But other fans can’t go without the EPL on a weekly basis, so Optus Sport will be their default service.
What do you think? Has football, overall, become too expensive to watch in Australia?
Get in touch with us via our social channels and let us know which services you will be keeping, signing up for, or dropping in the coming weeks.