This should be welcome news for fans of the beautiful game -- Sprint has announced that it will let its subscribers watch every live match of the upcoming Copa America in June of this year through their mobile devices without having to worry about their data allowances getting affected. This marks the first time that the fourth biggest wireless carrier in the United States is offering a zero rated data deal.
Now on to the specifics -- subscribers under Sprint will be given the chance to stream live broadcasts (in Spanish language) of soccer matches of the 2016 Copa America by way of Univision and fuboTV, a feature that bundles live sporting events and entertainment channels. Once a 60 day trial period is over, Sprint subscribers can pay $10 a month in order to keep tuning in to fuboTV. As for customers of Sprint’s two prepaid subsidiaries -- Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, they can enjoy access through a 30 day trial before they are required to start paying for the feature.
Founded a hundred years ago, the Copa America is the oldest international continental soccer competition in the world, and it traditionally pits countries from the South American region over an entire month of competitive matches. This year, however, marks its centenary celebration, and will feature South American teams as well as North American, Central American, and Caribbean teams. Also, for the first time ever, the tournament will be held in the United States.
The month long event is sure to grab attention, not only from the Hispanic demographic, but also from Americans who call themselves soccer fans. The Copa America will be showcasing some star power, too, with soccer luminary David Beckham being featured heavily in bilingual ads made for TV. It is no surprise then that Sprint is taking full advantage of the upcoming soccer tournament in order to aggressively promote special offers, and even conduct demos of its 5G service (albeit, only at a couple of soccer stadiums).
Beyond the Copa America spectacle, it is interesting to note that the Sprint brand has finally joined in on the zero rated data fun (its prepaid arms, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, have launched zero rated music services late in 2015). Among the Big Four wireless carriers in America, T-Mobile was the first to do it, especially with the debuts of its Binge On and Music Freedom features. Industry leader Verizon Wireless then followed suit, with the roll out of its FreeBee data. As for AT&T, it has also explored such a business model.
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