Australian fans of the English Premier League (EPL) will now be able to watch games live on the internet thanks to a new service from Fox Sports.
In what is one of the first real offerings of live online broadcasts of long-form sports in Australia, fans can pay as little as AUD$7.95 to access a weekly pass enabling them to view four live online broadcasts as well as selected online replays on-demand. AUD$89.95 will buy you a season pass.
The launch of the service might raise some eyebrows with Australia’s major pay-TV carrier, Foxtel. Usually, EPL fans would have to subscribe to a pay-TV service such as Foxtel to watch Fox Sports broadcasts. However, this new service will now allow them to bypass pay-TV.
Despite this, Fox Sports doesn’t think it’s going to have a significant effect on Foxtel subscriber numbers, and Foxtel declined to comment, although they confirmed they were aware of Fox Sports’ new service.
Service delivered in WMV format
EPL fans that aren’t fanatical about Windows Media Player may not be happy with the fact the Fox Sports online live broadcasts and on-demand video will be in WMV format. Mac users will require OS10 and Flip4mac.
It’s also worth noting that the on-demand replays can’t be downloaded to be watched anytime – due to licensing restrictions they can only be streamed online.
Live and on-demand streams will be available in medium bandwidth (250 kilobits per second) and high bandwidth (500 kilobits per second) options, according to Fox Sports’ website.