Optus has agreed to let SBS broadcast the rest of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Every remaining match - including the finals - can now be watched on free-to-air television: live, free and in HD. Hurrah!
Poor old Optus. What should have been a marketing coup has turned into a PR disaster thanks to the unreliability of its World Cup streaming app.
Duly chastened, the telco has relinquished its exclusive rights to screen the World Cup in Australia. Instead, it will now share coverage with SBS for the duration of the tournament.
Previously, Optus had agreed to let SBS broadcast Group Stage matches as it attempted to sort out its network. Today's decision means that every remaining game can be watched on SBS.
SBS will broadcast all remaining matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup live, free and in HD pic.twitter.com/mMo9VwprFt
— SBS Australia (@SBS) June 28, 2018
"All of us at Optus will use what we have learned from this experience to place ourselves ahead in the delivery of content to customers via streaming to their mobile devices,” Optus CEO Allen Lew acknowledged in a statement.
“Our customers and viewers have been the priority in our decision making and that’s why we have provided several ways to watch the matches, offered refunds and introduced a range of measures to address the technical issues experienced by some Optus Sport viewers.”
If you still want to watch online, there's additional good news: Optus will be offering free access to its Optus Sports app until 31 August 2018. (If you've already subscribed, you are eligible for a refund.)
As Aussie football fans fume over Optus Sport's unreliable FIFA World Cup streaming from Russia, Optus admits it underestimated the challenges of playing on the world stage. Optus insists it didn't skimp on the backend infrastructure required to stream World Cup matches to the nation. So what went wrong?