Telstra has announced that all AFL games will be streamed live to mobile phones and tablets from 2012, following a landmark $1.25 billion AFL television rights deal.
Under the five year agreement, all AFL matches including pre-season, the regular home and away season, finals and the grand final, as well as the Brownlow Medal awards ceremony will be streamed live to mobile phones and tablets on Telstra's Next G network. Telstra will also stream one live match per week to T-Box set-top box customers, while every game with the exception of the AFL grand final will be broadcast live on Foxtel and the Foxtel on T-Box services.
"Australians are hungry for AFL content and we're delighted that Telstra can bring them even closer to the competition from next season regardless of what device they want to view the game on," said Telstra CEO David Thodey in a statement. "It's 89 years since the game was first broadcast on radio and Telstra is delighted to be bringing live AFL to the digital world through Next G mobiles, tablets and the T-Box."
The renewed agreement between the AFL and Telstra also sees Telstra T-Box customers getting access to match replays on demand, and an interactive AFL game analyser, while the AFL's website and all AFL club sites will continue to be managed by Telstra.
Telstra says the new broadcast deal could extend to other IPTV-enabled devices connected to Telstra BigPond fixed broadband services, and committed to "evolve AFL online, mobile and IPTV services as new technologies emerge."
The announcement was immediately welcomed by analyst firm Ovum, saying the AFL content will be a "big win" for Telstra.
"Telstra's extension and expansion of its online streaming rights for AFL games is a big win for the telco as interest in watching premium video online continues to surge," said Tim Renowden of Ovum. "Consumers are increasingly viewing internet video on their TVs, PCs, mobile phones and tablets such as the iPad, leading to predictions from network equipment vendors that online video traffic in the Asia-Pacific region will triple by 2014."
The new AFL television rights deal was unveiled today and is worth $1.253 billion, up from the $780 million in the previous deal.