Optus enters bidding war for 2019 Rugby World Cup broadcast rights

Optus bids for broadcast rights for 2019 Rugby World Cup

Optus has reportedly entered the bidding race for the rights to broadcast the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

The telecommunications giant made headlines last year after its streaming service repeatedly failed in its coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and was forced to handover coverage to national broadcaster SBS.

According to media reports, Optus is bidding for broadcast rights against Fox Sports and Channel Ten for the tournament, which will be hosted by Japan in September.

Both Fox Sports and Channel Ten currently hold rights to Wallabies international rugby matches.

If awarded the coverage, Optus would stream matches on their digital platforms. The telco has maintained its technical issues have been resolved.

The international event comes at a crucial time for Australian Rugby, which has suffered declining viewing and attendance numbers in recent years.

Experts suggest the reduced viewing numbers could play in Optus favour in terms of securing rights, however, a strong performance by Australia in the tournament could see a dramatic rise in viewership, which could challenge Optus' streaming service.

Optus currently holds exclusive streaming rights for the English Premier League as well as rights to Euro 2020 and the 2019 Women's World Cup.

An Optus spokesperson said, "As a matter of policy, Optus declines to comment on any speculation regarding programming rights."

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