From March, Australians will pay $8.99 per month plus set-up fees in order to access Eurosport’s cycling coverage via Fetch.
The pricing announcement by Eurosport follows Foxtel’s decision to remove the channel from its line-up from the end of January. On 20 January, Eurosport announced that it would be partnering with the Fetch streaming service, ending speculation that it would make its in-house streaming service, Eurosport Player, available in Australia.
In order to access Fetch, customers must initially purchase a set-top box for $449 (with recording capabilities) or $169 (without recording capabilities) at a retail store, as well as paying a one dollar activation fee. Alternatively, set-top boxes can be bundled with some internet service providers (ISPs) under selected mobile phone and broadband internet plans.
Eurosport will be offered for free to Fetch retail customers throughout February. From 1 March, it will be available as a standalone channel for $8.99 per month. Eurosport has not yet confirmed when it will be available to users who access Fetch through their ISP.
On a month-to-month basis, Eurosport’s new pricing is significantly cheaper than previous plans through Foxtel. Previously, Australian Eurosport viewers were required to purchase a base Foxtel subscription and an additional sports package at over $60 per month ($74 per month on currently-advertised prices).
However, this will give little solace to existing Foxtel customers, who will now have to invest in an additional set-top box and streaming service in order to access the full season of cycling coverage.
Eurosport’s announcement was met with criticism on Twitter from users who said they would have preferred to access the channel through Eurosport Player. Unlike Fetch, Eurosport Player does not require a set-top box. It is currently available in the United Kingdom for an annual fee of 40 pounds, or A$115, but cannot be accessed from Australia without a VPN (virtual private network).
Eurosport offers comprehensive coverage of professional cycling including the grand tours, spring classics and smaller WorldTour races. Since 2017, Eurosport has held the exclusive broadcast rights in Australia to Italian races including the Giro d’Italia, Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, while SBS has broadcast and streamed selected races free-to-air such as the Tour de France, Vuelta a España, selected Spring Classics and World Championships.
By Ryan Miu
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