Thursday, 21 February, 2019

SBS to air all World Cup group games as Optus rebuilds

Australia's first attempt at streaming a major sports event turned to custard in the opening round of the Fifa World Cup GETTY Australia's first attempt at streaming a major sports event turned to custard in the opening round of the Fifa World Cup
Stacy Diaz | 22 June, 2018, 10:56

The faulty Optus streaming service prompted Optus chief executive Allen Lew to apologise "unreservedly to all Australians" on Sunday, but there were further issues that night.

This would allow streaming of all World Cup games, including the final stages of the tournament, as well as access to the first three rounds of the English Premier League.

Telecommunications company Optus bought the broadcast rights for most World Cup games in Russian Federation but technical issues with the live streaming in Australia caused a major backlash from subscription buyers - to the point where the prime minister had to intervene.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also got involved, saying he had spoken to Lew about the matter.

Mr Lew said despite some issues, thousands of customers continue to sign up to Optus Sport and wanted the flexibility to watch content when and wherever they choose.

The free trial of Optus Sport extends up until 31 August.

Besieged telecommunications giant Optus has extended its deal with SBS enabling the broadcaster to continue to simulcast World Cup matches until the end of the month. SBS looks forward to continuing to simulcast the games, together with Optus over the next ten days.

Optus mobile subscribers are able to access World Cup content free of charge, but for others the coverage had been provided as part of a $15 package.

"We know Australian football fans are amongst the world's most passionate, and vocal, and we clearly understand Australia's passion for this major event, and the frustration that goes along with not being able to watch the event", he said. "This has provided the confidence we needed to reassure the Australian public that we have addressed these issues and that our efforts have worked". Speaking earlier in the week, Lew said he was confident the brand would recover.

The telco had said the 48 hour handover to SBS would allow them to undertake robust testing of a fix.

Referee Joel Aguilar of Salvador signals for video review during the group F match between Sweden and South Korea at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Nizhny Novgorod stadium in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Monday, June 18, 2018.

Since Monday, we have continued to improve our product and Optus has delivered the last six matches of the World Cup without issue.

Unlike the EPL though, the World Cup coverage was made available to non Optus customers on a variety of platforms, with some customers no doubt engaging with the telco for the first time.