Monday, 25 June 2018 23:41

OVO's OVOPlay to become new home of club rugby broadcasting


OVO's provocation of competitors to better compete and consumers to switch over (or is that Ovo?) continues with its latest content deal: a digital broadcasting deal with the Brumbies.

The OVO "rovolution" continues apace, with yet more content available not only for anyone to watch via the freely available Ovoplay platform, but also completely data-free for subscribers of OVO's competitively-priced mobile plans.

Under the agreement, we're told: "The Brumbies will broadcast each match of the week from the ACT Club Rugby John I Dent Cup on OVOPlay from July.

"It will also broadcast highlights, interviews and behind the scenes content making it all available free to air for Australians, and data-free for OVO subscribers."

Is that all? Of course not!

The company tells us that "with more Club Rugby organisations in talks with OVO to follow the lead set by the Brumbies, OVO is working toward introducing a self serve-production platform for grass roots rugby clubs to live broadcast and upload their own events to the platform by early 2019".

The Brumbies aren't new to streaming – they started doing so with John I Dent matches in 2016, but "sought out OVO after seeing the success it had delivered to the likes of Water Polo Australia and Gymnastics Australia in building audience and encouraging participation in the sports".

Brumbies general manager of commercial partnerships, Tom Fallaw said: "Club rugby is in the midst of a resurgence in Australia. The fact that we had more than 140,000 online views just in the ACT and southern NSW of John I Dent matches last year shows the size of the audience for our sport.

"We want to grow our audience and better connect with our supporters, and we know the majority of those people are watching sport on their mobiles more than any other channel.

"Our streaming to-date has been a great start, but we need a dedicated platform to take full advantage of the groundswell of interest in club rugby.

"OVO gives us the best way to get in front of the community of fans who are keen to engage with the John I Dent Cup and the Brumbies, and will enable a deeper connection between fans of rugby in this country and the competitions that make the sport great."

Like the majority of sports supported through digital broadcasting on OVOPlay, OVO said it "expects the community of ACT Club Rugby participants, friends and families tuning in to grass roots matches will quickly grow into a larger and more diverse fan community as John I Dent matches and other highlights come onto the platform".

OVO chief executive Matt Jones said: "Every sport that we've introduced to OVOPlay has quickly built its fan base.

"The opportunity for rugby is huge, not only to get the support of a broadcasting platform to push content and attract an audience, but also with the funding and other benefits that will follow.

"The Brumbies and rugby fans more broadly will join the other 1.5 million fans that have watched content on OVO in 2017.

"We're excited to be working with one of Australia's best-loved sports and help build their club level audience. The Brumbies have been pioneers in bringing Club Rugby to mobile, and we're all set to help them capitalise on growing interest in the foundation competitions of the sport in this country.

"As we grow the rugby channel on OVOPlay, it'll continue to bring more competitions across the country together, offering data-free access to amazing matches and content fans would never normally get to see."

The Brumbies will "commence broadcasting current John I Dent Cup matches on OVOPlay each week from July, joining the likes of gymnastics, water polo, motorsports and esports on the platform".

And, as OVO reminds us, "all content on OVOPlay is available free-to-stream, and is also available data-free to OVO mobile subscribers".

So, there you have it. The "rovolution" won't just be televised, it will be streamed, and everyone's "ovited"!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

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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