Rugby heaven for BigPond broadband customers

Telstra BigPond broadband users with a passion for rugby are set to benefit from the ISP’s decision to provide its customers with exclusive video and audio content from the Rugby World Cup 2003 free of charge.

Those who aren’t satisfied with just the rugby game broadcasts from Rugby World Cup 2003 official broadcaster Channel Seven, or can’t afford tickets to the matches played in Australia, will be able to consoles themselves by watching a replay of any of the games via their BigPond broadband connection 24 hours after the end of each match.

The new content will comprise full game replays, half and full-time highlights, interviews with coaches and captains, match previews, and audio commentary. Rugby content will be exempt from the customer’s monthly download limit.

Rugby content will be available from BigPond from the start of the World Cup on 10 October 2003, and run until 1 March 2004.

The latest Rugby content deal is one of several announced by the ISP since its decision to boost its broadband content and overhaul the BigPond brand in July.

BigPond boasts exclusive rights to the V8 Supercar series, including coverage from the qualifying rounds and top 10 shootouts. According to Telstra broadband chief Justin Milne, the subscriber-only footage is not available through either Foxtel pay TV or Channel Ten.

In addition, BigPond broadband subscribers have free access to video content from its online music channel The Basement, as well as its GameArena service.

The 2003 Rugby World Cup content will be available through the BigPond sports channel: www.bigpond.com/sports.

While Telstra is hoping its focus on exclusive, free content to help it to distinguish its service to potential broadband customers, other Australian ISPs are implementing exclusive content in their broadband packages in a bid to win over new subscribers.

Rival broadband provider iPrimus announced in July that it would offer its broadband subscribers exclusive access to a selection of short films from the 2003 Troppo Film Festival held across the country in February this year. Downloading any of the films will, however, come out of the customer’s monthly download limit.

AOL|7 also offers its broadband customers access to a subscriber-only content portal. This incorporates a mixture of free Channel Seven content, such as news stories, and download-incursive content, such as music content or movie trailers. Free content zones are denoted by an “F”.

Recent member-only content included a “rockimentary” on Lou Reed’s Australian tour series, as well as a host of interviews and rock performances by music artists produced specifically for AOL members worldwide, said AOL|7 corporate affairs manager Jennifer Parker.

AOL|7 is also looking at bringing out AOL US’s monthly teen series “Jessica’s Crush” to its Australian service in the coming weeks. “Jessica’s Crush”, a member-specific content service, is an online video program featuring interviews by host Jessica Mae Stover with “crushworthy” celebrities.

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