A revamped suite of live sports streaming apps is part of Telstra’s bid to get an edge in an increasingly competitive live mobile streaming market. Redesigned versions of AFL, NRL and netball apps are part of the live sports streaming makeover, which was launched by the Australian telecommunications giant earlier this month. Yet, the biggest win for Telstra’s 16 million mobile customers is that they will be able to watch every match live from each competition without incurring mobile data charges.
The new apps will feature improved functionality, easier login access and smoother navigation, while club specific apps for AFL and NRL fans will tailor information and fan content to the teams users support. These club specific apps will also offer fans the ability to purchase tickets and memberships through their mobile devices, an initiative that resembles features available on globally renowned apps produced by the NBA and NFL.
Telstra revealed it had 3.8 million customers using its AFL and NRL apps in September 2016 alone, and is expecting over three million streams per round across both competitions in 2017. Increased consumption of live sports streaming on mobile devices is happening at breakneck speed, with Telstra reporting huge growth across its AFL and NRL products in particular.
Telstra saw a 134 per cent increase in the amount of minutes watched of the 2016 AFL Grand Final by its mobile customers compared to the 2015 edition. As such, as well as streaming every AFL match of the 2017 season live and data-free, the company has gone all out by offering its mobile customers full replays of every AFL premiership match since 2010 for free, along with bonus coverage of special events such as the Brownlow medal, AFL draft and Under 18 championships. Additionally, the rapid rise of the new women’s AFL league, live streams of which will also be included in the refurbished AFL app, is also likely to bolster live streaming numbers.
The growth of NRL streaming on iOS, Android or other mobile devices is equally impressive, with Telstra citing record-breaking numbers related to the amount of unique views and minutes consumed of an NRL fixture between the Gold Coast Titans and Cronulla Sharks in August 2015. Due to such impressive numbers, Telstra says it has made as many as 120 improvements to its NRL app, including integration with refereeing decisions made via video replay, in-game scoring highlights, extensive player stats and faster sign-in for customers wanting to access live matches on the go. Full replays of every NRL fixture since the 2013 season and other video content such as live press conference are also strong features of the app.
On the netball side, the Netball Live app for mobile devices will feature live vision from all four weekly fixtures of Suncorp Super Netball, Australia’s new national competition. Live scores, in-depth stats, replays and behind-the scenes video are also featured, while a netball specific Telstra TV app will broadcast two live games in full HD to TV units.
The new apps are available for free to Telstra post-paid mobile customers at Apple’s official app store, or at Google Play for Android users. Non-Telstra customers can also access the apps, but have to pay a subscription fee.