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Seven and Optus team up to offer Tokyo 2020 in 4K

Cate Campbell of Australia competes in the Women's 50m Freestyle Semifinal on day seven of the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Australian free-to-air commercial broadcaster Seven will team up with telco Optus to develop a channel to provide 4K ultra-high-definition coverage of next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The channel will be made exclusively available to Optus 5G Home customers via IPTV provider Fetch’s Mighty set-top boxes.

The channel will showcase the best premium live events from Seven’s coverage of the Games, which will run from July 24 to August 9. Optus customers will be required to have a Fetch Mighty box with an active Fetch subscription, a 4K-ready television and an Optus 5G home broadband plan.

There will be both 4K and 8K production in place at Tokyo 2020. However, many public-service broadcasters with rights to the Games do not yet have a 4K channel on which to showcase the coverage.

In July, Seven detailed plans to launch another six channels across its 7plus digital service for its coverage of Tokyo 2020. Seven acquired rights for the Games in 2014 as part of a deal spanning three editions of the Olympics, from 2016 to 2020.

Seven West Media’s chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette said: “This will be the most-watched Olympics and the biggest digital event in Australian streaming history. Seven’s coverage of the Olympics will be unprecedented, and with time zones differing by only one hour, Tokyo 2020 will feel like a home Games for Australians.”

Optus recently launched 5G in the home and on mobile devices, with over 300 5G sites currently in place in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and other key locations in New South Wales and Queensland.

Optus is the official telecommunications partner of the Australian Olympic Committee, having entered into a 10-year agreement with the body back in 2015. The deal, which the AOC hailed as one of its “biggest ever”, runs until 2026.

Seven has previously teamed up with Optus to stream coverage of the Australian Open tennis grand slam, the 2018 winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang and the 2018 Commonwealth Games to Optus customers.