Thursday, 27 March 2008 10:58

Next up on Telstra's Next G - the Olympic Games, live

Telstra has done a multi-million dollar deal with the Seven Media Group to stream live coverage of the Olympic Games to Telstra customers on the Next G network – but the cost to consumers hasn’t been announced yet.

When the Olympic Games or other major global sports events are on, it’s practically impossible to walk into any store without a TV somewhere broadcasting the action for all to see, such is the interest and excitement.

Telstra have now ensured that its Next G customers don’t even need to go anywhere to catch some of the upcoming Olympic action by signing a deal that will see the Olympics broadcast to Next G phones, and not just selected snippets either, but live coverage.

The Seven Media Group, which owns the free-to-air Channel 7 in Australia, is a long time Olympic broadcast partner of the International Olympic Committee, and now have three additional partners to assist in the rebroadcasting of the Olympic Games - SBS, the part-owned Yahoo!7 portal and now Telstra.

BigPond Group Managing Director, Mr Justin Milne, said that: "BigPond is delighted to be at the cutting edge with live Olympics coverage. BigPond Sport's Next G mobile coverage will let you cheer on the Aussies from the bus stop, in a cab, while you are shopping or having lunch in the park.”

Milne continued that: "Telstra's Next G™ network is Australia's largest and fastest national mobile network and it covers 99 per cent of the Australian population. This multi-million dollar deal with the Seven Network and Yahoo!7 will mean more Australians have access to live Games coverage."

Seven Media Group CEO, Mr David Leckie said: "We are pleased to be working closely with BigPond to ensure even more Australians have access to our coverage of the Beijing Olympics."

Leckie continued that: "Our Beijing coverage is our biggest undertaking since the Sydney 2000 Games and having it streamed on Telstra Next G mobiles adds an entirely new dimension. Now Australians can watch the Olympics on multiple platforms - on television on Seven and SBS, online on Yahoo!7 and on mobiles on Telstra's Next G network.”

The Australian IT has reported the deal is worth AUD $9m, with Telstra and the Seven Media Group to share in subscription revenue, with Telstra unable to sell any additional advertising as the live video feed will effectively be a rebroadcast of the Channel 7 free-to-air broadcast. 
Please read onto page 2, where we share our thoughts on how much the service should cost.

No announcement has yet been made on what it will cost Next G customers to tune into live Olympics broadcasting on their phones, but Telstra promises an announcement “soon”.

Hopefully the pricing is reasonable, with some kind of ‘flat rate’ all you can eat plan that lets you pay once to watch as much, or as little, of the Olympics as you want, although Telstra will undoubtedly want to recoup some of the multi-millions they spent securing this deal.

If the pricing is too expensive, the Olympic rings could well take on a new meaning as Telstra’s cash registers ring with bronze, silver and gold (as currency) to the tune of all that streaming Olympic video content being watched live.

Telstra notes that “Bringing live coverage of the Beijing Olympics on Next G mobiles, is just the latest addition to Telstra's commitment to Australia's Olympic involvement.”

Telstra’s existing Olympic commitments include being “a committed sponsor of the Australian Olympic Team and the Australian Swimming Team and will again be offering fans the chance to spur on their favourite Aussie athletes through Telstra HeroMessage. Telstra also is a telecommunications advisor to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.”

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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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