Wednesday, 04 May 2016 19:14

Choice sticks boot into Optus soccer balls

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Suggesting its cheaper to fly to the UK to watch a single Premier League game than it is to subscribe to the Optus EPL 24-month bundle, Choice says Optus puts football fans offside.

It looks like Choice is suggesting that Optus has scored an own goal with its pricing policy for fans to watch the 2016-17 season of the English Premier League, with Choice’s comment that ‘you could fly to London and watch the English Premier League for the cost of an Optus subscription.’

Choice is Australia’s consumer advocacy group, long in the business of crunching numbers and certain wayward fire-prone Samsung washing machine models, with its Director of Campaigns and Communications, Matt Levey stating: “Choosing which phone or broadband provider best meets your needs should be a totally independent decision to choosing which content you buy.

“Optus has bungled its bundle by forcing Aussie football fans to become an Optus phone or broadband customer to watch next season’s English Premier League broadcast.

“With the cheapest Optus broadband bundle that gives you access to next season’s EPL costing you $2,880 over 24 months, it would be much cheaper to:

  • Fly return to London for $1,396 (based on this Skyscanner search
  • Get a return train ticket to Leicester for $58.18 (calculated at $58.18 for an adult ticket to watch new EPL champions Leicester City Football Club at the King Power Stadium, Leicester, based on cheapest current adult price,
  • Buy a ticket at the ground for $85.71 (based on $85.71 for the cheapest return rail ticket from London Heathrow underground to Leicester Railway Station (plus a 27 minute walk to the stadium) and…
  • You could even treat yourself to a $4.26 pint of Fosters before the game (based on £2.2 GBP for a pint of Fosters in Leicester according to pintprice.com)

More below, please read on.

Levey added: “When you consider it would cost you $1,544.15 to be at the ground to watch EPL champions Leicester City FC play their first game of a new season, forking out an additional $1,335.85 to Optus watch the game at home doesn’t seem worth it.”

Choice says ‘broadband bundles to watch the EPL through Optus start at $2,880 and include home broadband, mobile phone plan, mini set top box and actually paying for the EPL. By avoiding the Optus bundle and taking out a separate broadband contract with a month-to-month SIM-only Optus mobile plan, the consumer would still be up for $900 for a 6-month contract or $1,350 over a 9-month season.’

Levey continued: “This move by Optus will undoubtedly see many consumers using virtual private networks (VPN) to access the Premier league from other countries where it doesn’t require changing your phone or broadband provider – like New Zealand or Taiwan.

“In fact the current EPL season is available in New Zealand for $91, streaming every match on any device in full HD - based on details at the Premier League Pass website here.

Levey concluded: “Telcos need to realise that the days of locking Australians out of the international market for content are over. It they over charge, consumers will seek out more competitive prices overseas.”


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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