4 May 2016
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has crunched the numbers on Optus' English Premier League (EPL) bundle and found you could fly to England and actually watch a game for the same price as signing up to the Aussie telco's bungled bundle.
"Choosing which phone or broadband provider best meets your needs should be a totally independent decision to choosing which content you buy," says CHOICE Director of Campaigns and Communications Matt Levey.
"Optus has bungled its bundle by forcing Aussie football fans to become an Optus phone or broadband customer to watch next season's English Premier League broadcast.
"With the cheapest Optus broadband bundle that gives you access to next season's EPL costing you $2,880 over 24 months, it would much cheaper to fly return to London $1,396, get a return train ticket to Leicester $58.18 and buy a ticket at the ground $85.71. You could even treat yourself to a $4.26 pint of Fosters before the game.
"When you consider it would cost you $1,544.15 to be at the ground to watch EPL champions Leicester City FC play their first game of a new season, forking out an additional $1,335.85 to Optus watch the game at home doesn't seem worth it," says Mr Levey.
Broadband bundles to watch the EPL through Optus start at $2,880 and include home broadband, mobile phone plan, mini set-top box and actually paying for the EPL. By avoiding the Optus bundle and taking out a separate broadband contract with a month-to-month SIM-only Optus mobile plan, the consumer would still be up for $900 for a 6-month contract or $1,350 over a 9-month season.
"This move by Optus will undoubtedly see many consumers using virtual private networks (VPNs) to access the Premier league from other countries where it doesn't require changing your phone or broadband provider – like New Zealand or Taiwan," Mr Levey says.
"In fact the current EPL season is available in New Zealand for $91, streaming every match on any device in full HD.
"Telcos need to realise that the days of locking Australians out of the international market for content are over. If they over charge, consumers will seek out more competitive prices overseas," says Mr Levey.
 $58.18 for an adult ticket to watch new EPL champions Leicester City Football Club at the King Power Stadium, Leicester (based on cheapest current adult price).
 $85.71 for the cheapest return rail ticket from London Heathrow underground to Leicester Railway Station (plus a 27 minute walk to the stadium)
 Based on £2.2 GBP for a pint of Fosters in Leicester according to pintprice.com