Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Optus to simulcast World Cup matches with SBS amid technical issues

Optus to simulcast World Cup matches with SBS amid technical issues

Aware that Optus's problems might also affect SBS's reputation, Mr Ebeid said the issue was "not ideal" but his station had been forced to slash its Cup coverage due to budget.

"I apologize unreservedly to all Australians", Lew said.

"We believe the brand is stronger than just one event over three days, we will recover and show Australia we can be a credible multimedia company". Optus CEO Allen Lew issued a pubic apology.

"We're obviously able and willing to do that".

In an effort to compensate customers, the telco said affected Optus Sport users could head into an Optus store and pick up a Fetch mini set-top box for free for the coming 12 months.

That strategy ran into its own problems, with customers taking to social media to complain of stores running out of stock.

However, technical issues mean a number of subscribers have been unable to watch matches.

A chorus of critics including former Socceroo Robbie Slater, Karl Stefanovic and ABC sports journalist Richard Hinds called on Optus to relinquish the exclusive rights and allow SBS to broadcast all the games if the telco couldn't deliver on its promises.

Optus has announced that SBS will be airing all World Cup games over the next 48 hours. But its coverage of the world's biggest sporting event in Russian Federation has been beset by technical difficulties.

SBS will also the Group H Poland versus Senegal and Group A Russian Federation versus Egypt games takign place overnight on Tuesday-Wednesday.

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"Many were sceptical when Optus acquired the rights to the World Cup, and many thought they wouldn't be up to it".

The FTA network is broadcasting all Socceroos games, the match of the day, finals and the tournament decider. Somehow. I didn't even think that was possible. Maybe even less, maybe even 24 hours.

I think if Optus continues to have problems, then we might have a conversation about how we can help them further in terms of putting some of those games on our channels.

But over the weekend, the issues have continued.

"We are confident that we have a solution in place and will be using this time to undertake robust testing of all systems".

All other games are only available via a paid subscription for Optus.

The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) noted the broadcast deal was with the sport's global governing body but said it was receiving regular updates from both Optus and SBS.

Optus chief executive Allen Lew has pledged multi-device streaming services for the FIFA World Cup 2018 will be restored by the end of Wednesday.

"The FIFA World Cup is a true multicultural celebration that unites Australia's diverse communities and SBS is pleased to be bringing more of the tournament to Australian audiences".

"Given the individual nature of some customer issues, we are working with customers directly to address their concerns and ensure that we deliver an excellent experience".

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