Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has taken a $5m equity stake in media-MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) telecommunications start-up OVO Mobile and its expanding digital broadcasting platform, OVOPlay.
OVO is focused on building a telecommunications offering around an entertainment platform – specialising in sports content.
OVO purchases the exclusive broadcast rights for Australian sports that have a large grassroots following but where fans have little opportunity to engage with the sport outside of attending an event.
A number of sports have signed OVO on as their exclusive digital broadcasting partner including Gymnastics Australia, Water Polo Australia, Supercheap Auto V8 Supercars team, 400 Thunder Drag Racing and World SuperBikes.
Video and audio content of the major events of these sports is run exclusively on OVOPlay and available data-free to OVO Mobile customers.
In addition, as part of the relationship, SCA’s Triple M and Hit Network stations are available to OVO customers data free.
The chief sales officer at SCA, Brian Gallagher, said: “SCA is attracted to OVO’s business model of offering compelling mobile telecommunications built around its own digital platform for unique sport and entertainment content.
“Sport is the biggest immediate synergy between OVO and SCA. Sport is integral to our Triple M network and increasingly popular on our PodcastOne network with podcasts like The Howie Games. We think there are great untapped opportunities for us to work with OVO to bring great content to the target audiences our clients are seeking to reach.”
Matt Jones, CEO of OVO, said: “Much of this growth has come from customers experiencing our content on OVOPlay and then purchasing more products from us – on average, two more additional OVO product subscriptions for the household.
“Our mobile offering is strong, but it’s our broadcasting focus that sets OVO apart and gives us our higher purpose, which is attracting big audiences for sports that otherwise struggle to gain traction.
“SCA’s decision to take a stake in OVO will allow us to escalate our push to sign up more sports and other entertainment offerings to OVOPlay, attract larger audiences and bring more people across to our mobile offerings. We’re delighted that they’ve seen the value and potential of what we’re building,” he added.
In addition to the SCA deal, OVO has further secured its ongoing relationship with Optus, signing a fresh five-year exclusive mobile contract. As an MVNO, OVO Mobile services operate on the Optus 4G Plus network.