Telecom unveils Coliseum soccer deal

Telecom, the country's biggest phone company, is hoping to drive customers on to faster broadband services with a deal to offer discounted online access to the English Premier League football.

The Auckland-based company will offer existing broadband customers a 15 per cent discount for a $149.90 'season pass' on Coliseum Sports Media's website, and new customers on mid-range plans can get free access, it said in a statement.

Telecom lifted its $85 a month 50 gigabyte plan to 80 GBs at no extra cost, with a 90-minute match expected to chew threw about 1.1 GB's.

"We hope that more people will see online experiences like this as the perfect opportunity to upgrade to faster broadband, by either UFB (ultra-fast broadband) if available or through VDSL (Very high bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line), which Telecom is launching in time for the northern hemisphere season and offers the highest speeds available on copper," Telecom Retail chief executive Chris Quinn said.

Coliseum outbid pay-TV operator Sky Network Television for the rights to the league last month for a three-year contract to broadcast the sport online in New Zealand.

Video content is seen as the main driver to get people to switch their broadband services to fibre, which allows for faster upload and download speeds, with the line between telecommunications and broadcasting getting increasingly blurry.

Earlier this year new Telecom boss Simon Moutter signalled a radical overhaul of the business and a slashing of its workforce as it shifts to providing services and away from building things, to become a data-driven and mobile-focused telecommunications operator.

Shares in Telecom fell 0.7 per cent to $2.245, while Sky TV declined 0.7 per cent to $5.36.

- BusinessDesk

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