Fetch becomes Eurosport’s new Australian home amid impending Foxtel exit

International sports broadcaster Eurosport has secured a new home in Australia after agreeing a carriage deal with pay-television operator Fetch.

The agreement adds Eurosport to an existing agreement between Fetch and Eurosport’s parent company, Discovery.

The deal comes as Eurosport’s carriage on pay-television operator Foxtel comes to an end. Foxtel last month extended an agreement for Discovery’s factual, lifestyle and entertainment channels but opted not to continue offering Eurosport.

The addition of Eurosport to Fetch from February 1 extends the agreement between Discovery and Fetch TV to eight channels.  There will also be an expansion in video-on-demand rights.

Eurosport will be available on Fetch channel 156 on a free trial basis to all Fetch direct retail customers throughout the month of February. It will then be offered as an a la carte special interest channel for A$8.99 (€5.50/$6) per month.

Scott Lorson, chief executive of Fetch TV, described Eurosport as “a perfect complement to our existing premium international sports offering, and will join Optus Sport, ESPN, EdgeSport, beIN Sports, and UFC pay-per-view on the Fetch platform”.

Foxtel last year said it planned to reduce spending on smaller sports properties and last month cited Eurosport’s ratings as a reason not to extend carriage, adding that it would look at other options for European sports content.

Explaining the decision to cut Eurosport, Foxtel told the TV Blackbox website: “As part of our evaluation of programming, Foxtel has made the decision to prioritise sport codes where we see consistent viewer numbers. As a result, the Discovery Eurosport channel will not be available on Foxtel from 31 January 2020.

“The Eurosport channel provides coverage of European sports including alpine sports, cycling, football and niche sports such as chess however viewing numbers for the channel have been consistently small and declining. Foxtel is continuing to invest in providing great sports coverage and we have some exciting announcements in store for 2020.

“We know however there are some sports on the Eurosport channel that have a very engaged group of fans and we acknowledge there will be some disappointment at the channel’s removal. For fans of popular European sports we will continue to look at what options are available.

“For example, SBS on Demand will be available through Foxtel early in 2020 which includes a significant range of European cycling events.”