Optus Handing World Cup Group Matches To SBS After Total Failure

23 June, 2018, 10:44 | Author: Christina Harvey
  • Spark are aware of the importance of getting the RWC 2019 stream right the first time

A weekend of criticism saw Optus reach an agreement with SBS for the public broadcaster to air four extra games on Monday and Tuesday while its technicians worked on a solution.

Australia's second biggest telco has come under fire for its coverage of the World Cup, which has been marred by technical problems to its streaming service and left fans angry.

Once there, SBS still only have rights to broadcast the semi-final and final, with Optus Sport for now maintaining exclusive broadcast rights for round of 16 and quarter-final matches.

The company say that any customer who purchased an Optus Sport subscription for the World Cup will be provided a refund.

Federation Internationale de Football Association has said it has been "extremely satisfied", with the quality of refereeing at the World Cup and said the introduction of video assistant referees (VAR), has been a success.

"It's a timely reminder for us and we already have the work streams up and running to make sure that we've got adequate network capacity which is one issue ... and the second issue which is the video delivery and what we call the content delivery network capability and capacity that can handle these sorts of volumes".

"We as Optus have tried hard to deliver an exceptional viewing experience and deeply regret this has not been the case for all Australians", Optus chief executive Allen Lew said.

All World Cup 2018 matches for the remainder of the group stages will be broadcast on SBS as well as streaming service Optus, with the latter service also made free to all Australians until August 31.

Lew claimed that despite the issues, thousands continued to sign up to Optus Sport because, in his opinion, they wanted the flexibility to watch content when and wherever they choose.

"We appreciate customers have given us another go and invite those to tune in for tonight's games".

Fabianksi is the back-up to Wojciech Szczesny for Poland at the World Cup and didn't play in the team's first group game, a 2-1 loss to Senegal.

But on 19 June, Optus said that SBS would simulcast games over the next two nights, due to the technical difficulties it had faced.

Lew said the two-day deal with SBS was about creating a failsafe for its customers.

In a statement to The Guardian, Optus blamed its initial trouble with broadcasting the most popular sporting event on Earth on "an extremely high number of viewers logging into our platforms just before kick-off causing some systems to overload".



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