OVO is making a play for Chinese Australian sports fans, ramping up Chinese sport content on OVOPlay and launching new mobile plan inclusions designed to appeal to Australian-born and expat Chinese sports lovers.

OVO said it had just signed Australian broadcast rights for Badminton and Chinese Super League football, flagging that additional sporting rights aimed at Chinese audiences will soon follow.

“This is in addition to OVO becoming the first telco to broadcast esports in Australia earlier this year with its Australian University League partnership, which has quickly developed a strong following among Chinese participants and fans,” the firm added.

According to OVO, at the last census count in 2016, 5.6 percent of  the Australian population identified as Chinese by ancestry, with more than half a million of the 1.2 million plus Chinese Australians hailing from mainland China

The content will initially be delivered free-to-air to Australian audiences on OVOPlay, with additional subscription and pay-per-view tiers added to the FTA broadcast in 2019.

All content, which will also feature a weekly 30-minute magazine show and highlight clips, will be broadcast with commentary available in English and Mandarin.  To highlight the launch of CSL in Australia, OVO will provide free-to-stream access to the 2018 season.

Currently broadcast in about one hundred countries, the Chinese Super League is China’s premier professional football competition – attracting an average of close to 24,000 people to live matches.

“We’ve had more than two million views of content on OVO channels in the past twelve months.  Our audience growth is exponential, and major sporting organisations are starting to take notice,” said OVO founder and CEO, Matt Jones.

“As the Chinese Super League has grown and spread internationally, especially over the past few years, the audience of fans in Australia has grown with it.  We have every confidence that that audience will boom in numbers now that the competition is finally available online in this country.”

“With this deal, we’re able to make one of the world’s most popular sporting competitions available in real time, on mobile – which we also know is fast becoming the first screen for sport fans,” Jones continued.

With the 2018 Chinese Super League season close to conclusion, OVO will stream a selection of remaining matches live from this coming weekend, and make replays and highlights available on the platform.  A full program of live matches, highlights and analysis will be available on OVOPlay from the start of the 2019 season.

The OVO app can be downloaded for iOS and Android, and OVO’s unique sport content can also be watched online at play.ovo.com.au.