Footy coming to mobiles next year
Telstra to broadcast Aussie rules on mobiles, T-Box, maybe even on broadband
The Australian Football League has abandoned the usual sports strategy of trying to play different broadcast bidders against each other for rights deals, and instead has dealt with a consortium that includes all three major outlet streams: free-to-air TV, pay TV, and internet streaming.
The result is a A$1.25bn five-year broadcast rights deal across three platforms, which will see live streaming of all AFL matches to Telstra mobile devices, commencing in 2012.
Foxtel and Channel Seven will carry matches on pay TV and free-to-air, respectively.
The arrangement will see mobile phones and tablets on the NextG network able to stream AFL games (including pre-season matches and the Brownlow Medal, surely the country's most-watched dead-boring awards event).
Telstra will also be including the AFL games on its soon-to-launch “Foxtel on T-Box” service, and the carrier says it is now considering whether to extend its offering to IPTV users on Telstra broadband accounts. ®
Over here, please
So if the AFL are pocketing $1.25 billion for the Australian rights, would they mind flicking some coverage across the ditch to NZ for, say, peanuts? Our miserable one live game per week on pay-TV that we've enjoyed for the last few years has been cut back by a whole game per week this season. But we do get to watch it delayed at 1am on Tuesdays.
Telstra is Evil. AFL is consummately boring. Go together like a horse and carriage.
Meanwhile at Telstra HQ
Telstra Exec 1: "Hey, guys. How can we overload our network even more and make our mobile broadband users experience even worse?"
Telstra Exec 2: "Let's give the iPad better deals for data than our flagship Android devices!"
Telstra Exec 3: "Yeah, and let's make a marketing push for wireless broadband to get even more users onto our already overloaded rural 3G cells!"
Telstra Exec 1: "Brilliant ideas, everyone! Now, how about this? We offer to broadcast the footy!"
Telstra Exec 3: "Wouldn't that cost us a tonne to broadcast it to everyone who wants it?"
Telstra Exec 1: "No, we don't give it to them FREE. We offer it to them through the bundled bloatware on the non-Apple smartphones, and they'll hit okay at every prompt telling them this'll cost them megabytes off our extortionally priced data plans!"
Telstra Exec 2: "And we'll be shoving yet MORE data down to those crowded 3G cells! BRILLIANT!"
The other day I was in Perth, away from my distant Kimberley town, and decided to do some web browsing on my phone, looking around for a nearby JB Hifi. However, my 3G didn't seem to work at all during daylight hours, and I was struggling to get anything back at the hotel until about 10PM at night. Running my phone's Speedtest.net app during the day, I got the results of "-0.00Mbps down, 16.53Mbps up". That's right. Negative zero megabits per second. Brilliant. Contrasted with at least 5Mbps down, 1Mbps up in my little corner of the dustland.
Chucking a few hundred iPhone/iPad/Android/MobBroadband wielding footy fans onto the already quite awful 3G cell here will probably cause the poor fibre optic to melt... that's if Telstra doesn't run over their own cable, or cable-tie it to a bridge, or leave it exposed on the roadside...
(And yes, I was 'holding it right' - this is a Desire after all :) )