Australian shock as unknown start-up acquires UCL rights

A major sports rights coup has occurred down under, with a relatively unknown start-up acquiring the exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League in Australia.

Sports Flick, a Sydney-based streaming service whose catalogue mostly encompasses niche sports like Indian baseball, Nicaraguan league football and bare-knuckle boxing, beat out offers from the country’s leading broadcasters to win the right to air the world’s most-watched club football tournament.

Bidding took place in a blind auction, with it largely being expected that incumbent rights holder Optus Sport would retain the competition.

Instead, the company is believed to be stunned by the offer from Sports Flick, which will see the newcomer be the exclusive broadcaster from 2021-22 for three seasons at a cost of AUS$60 million.

The sports streamer charges users AUS$14.99 per month or AUS$99.99 per year. It also holds rights to the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Australian Baseball League and European handball. 

While a relative unknown to be acquiring such high-profile rights, Sports Flick evidently has the resources to back up a bid. A closer examination of the company from The Guardian revealed that the streamer’s parent company, DCA Sydney, has shareholders including Red Star Belgrade Rugby League and chief executive Dylan Azzopardi.

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