iiNet scores free Premier League football for customers

Broadband customers can now enjoy watching English Premier League games online for free

iiNet customers will now get free access to the most popular football competition in the world, the English Premier League.

The ISP has struck a deal with Fox Sports in Australia to screen selected games from the remainder of the 2007/2008 Barclays Premier League season. The competition ends in May.

Games will be offered about six hours after their completion and users can select from a choice of five matches every week. Each game will be available as high bandwidth Windows Media files (WMV). Because they will stream at around 500 kilobits per second, iiNet says they will be more suited to those broadband customers on download plans faster than 512Kbps.

To view the games, customers need at least Windows Media Player version 10 or its equivalent. They can view all five games as many times as they like without it affecting their monthly download quota.

The EPL joins many other services on iiNet's freezone, including the TUCOWS Mirror, Internet radio stations such as Triple J, and several games servers.

iiNet managing director Michael Malone said the decision to provide the football came more from within than customer demand.

"To be honest, the main reason for EPL is that we have a lot of soccer mad staff! So it was an easy choice and everyone was keen about getting it implemented."

Malone said iiNet has the rights for this season and will be looking to see what the take up is like this year before making any more decisions on continuing the service.

He said the idea is to expand the range of freezone offerings to other sports this year, but it's still very early days.

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