On Monday evening, Optus sheepishly relinquished its World Cup streaming rights to SBS for 48 hours as it attempted to sort out its beleaguered network. (Insert “own goal” gag here.) Now, the telco has agreed to let SBS broadcast every match during the group stage. In addition, you will be able to access the same matches on the Optus Sport app for free. Here are the details!
For the past few days, the Optus Sports app has been hampered with viewability issues due to higher-than-expected demand.
Amusingly, the decision to temporarily hand streaming rights over to SBS came after the Prime Minister phoned up Optus’ CEO directly to ask what the hell was going on.
I have spoken with the Optus CEO, Allen Lew. He assures me he is giving the World Cup streaming problems his personal attention and he believes it will be fixed this evening.
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) June 18, 2018
As a result, SBS was granted live broadcasting rights for 48 hours. This has since been extended to include all group stage games.
“As a gesture of goodwill for Australian fans, Optus will also simulcast the group matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in conjunction with SBS through the Group stages,” Optus CEO Allen Lew said in a statement.
Optus will also be offering refunds to anyone who signed up for a $15 subscription to watch the World Cup on its app.
Click here for details on how to watch!
It would appear Optus made the offer to SBS in a bid to mitigate the growing consumer backlash. The telco has issued numerous apologies and assured customers it is “working around the clock” to fix the issue.
Presumably, if the streaming glitches on its network continue, we can expect the SBS agreement to be extended. SBS chief executive Michael Ebeid said that if Optus did not resolve the issues soon, the broadcaster would look to pick up additional games.
“I think if Optus continues to have problems then we might have a conversation about how we can help them further,” Ebeid said.
The Optus Sports glitch is the latest in a long line of telecommunication snafus to enrage Aussie customers. Who could forget Foxtel’s colossal mishandling of last year’s Game Of Thrones premiere, for example? At least this time there is a silver lining – with any luck, we’ll get the whole competition on SBS for free.