"Jason Bright 2011 V8 Supercar Interior" by Kytabu - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jason_Bright_2011_V8_Supercar_Interior.JPG#/media/File:Jason_Bright_2011_V8_Supercar_Interior.JPG
ason Bright 2011 V8 Supercar Interior

OVO, an innovative start up in Australia has signed a deal with Optus allowing V8 Supercar fans to watch mobile video content without any concern for data usage. The five year pre paid agreement with My Mobile Data (MMD) the company behind OVO could change the way that SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) is delivered across the globe.

Robert Parcell, Managing Director Wholesale and Satellite at Optus (source linkedIn)
Robert Parcell, Managing Director Wholesale and Satellite at Optus

OVO launches in a few days time and will be delivering V8 Supercar content to its subscribers over the Optus 4G network. Subscribers will receive up to 10 hours of OVO exclusive content and V8 Supercars action enjoyed using the OVOplay app and an official V8 Supercar website. They will also receive 15GB of additional data as well as unlimited calls, MMS and SMS within Australia.

This is not the first sporting deal that Optus has recently signed up to. The new format is likely to be extended to include such things as its recently announced English premier league content and cricket as Rob Parcell, Managing Director Optus Wholesale confirmed: “Optus understands the importance of unique and engaging customer content and we are excited to be supporting OVO to deliver its customers content like the V8 Supercars, following our own recent Cricket and English Premier League content deals.”

Disruptive not just for V8 Supercar

OVO has not yet set the pricing and while the full details of the contract are not yet available it seems that subscribers will pay in advance for each thirty day period. It appears that this is also the minimum contract length. What will be interesting is to see whether people pick up the SIM for their tablet or mobile phone.

In some ways the tablet makes greater sense, delivering a larger form factor without individuals needing to change numbers. It also means that in future they should be able to cancel the contract with the possibility of starting it again in the future, though this does not yet appear to be possible.

This feels like a missed opportunity by OVO as the ability to reactivate a SIM would seem potentially worthwhile. At the moment its seems that once cancelled a SIM cannot be re-activated and thus to start a new contract one needs a new SIM. For some sporting fans the ability to switch on a 30 day plan, and switch it off again would seem to be an interesting option, especially if they were interested in events that are only active for a few months in each year.

Matt Jones, CEO at OVO (OVO Play) (Source LinkedIn)
Matt Jones, CEO at OVO (OVO Play)

Matt Jones, CEO of MM Data does feel what they are provided is a new direction for VMO’s and commented: “We are re-inventing the traditional telecommunications model creating a hybrid between an SVOD and Telco that will provide allowances for the consumption of entertainment and ‘OVO content’ for sports and entertainment fans, in addition to general data allowances for everyday use and unlimited national calls and SMS.

“This relationship is about ensuring we have access to enable the delivery of video and audio content for our customers.”

MMD has chosen its market carefully, there are more than 3.5 million V8 Supercars fans in Australia. Delivering the ability for those fans to watch their sport with a fixed cost per month anywhere they are will certainly have appeal.

The additional information provided will include race statistics and live audio streams. OVO is also planning another content partnership in Q1 2016. It will be interesting to see whether this is another motor racing franchise or a different sport completely that overlaps with V8 Supercars and whether OVO start to bundle these deals together or keeps them with separate tariffs.

Optus Wholesale will no doubt continue to support these kinds of innovative startups and it will be interesting to see what other MVNO’s evolve in the new landscape offered by 4G and potentially 5G in the future. Parcell added: “Optus Wholesale is looking forward to nurturing and developing the relationship with MM Data and OVO. They have an exciting and innovative business.”


This deal is interesting not just for V8 supercars but also outside the border of Australia as it opens up the possibilities for similar deals in other countries. It is interesting that while Optus has signed a five year deal with OVO, the OVO deal with V8 is only a three year one although no doubt they will hope to extend that.

What this means for Foxtel, the pay per view TV channel will be interesting. Mobile technology is going to be disruptive to pay per view channels around the world as people are able to watch events on their mobile devices wherever they are. Some TV companies also offer mobile viewers and for those who have not signed up the mobile rights as part of the deal or are unable to offer that capability they may find their contracts becoming less lucrative than they had hoped.

This splitting of rights will also appeal to regulators who have shown that they are increasingly irked at the attempt by some media companies to create dominant positions in pay to view services. It may even be that in places such as Europe when 5G arrives we will see the media regulators require that pay to view vendors are not allowed to acquire the mobile rights. Whether that will extend the the MVNOs that such operators are beginning to create will be interesting and regulatory complex.

The future is not assured for OVO yet, and it will be interesting to see how many subscribers it can wean from other Telco’s. They have also missed a trick in not offering a branded tablet to go with their solution but are relying on users already owning one. If they had selected one of the less expensive 4G tablets then they may have delivered the ultimate Christmas present to a V8 Supercar fan.


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