Optus Faces World Cup Broadcast Backlash

Sorry to burst your bubble fans

SBS have stepped up to stop Australia's World Cup nightmare by simulcasting all matches on their free-to-air network from Russian Federation over the next two nights.

This evening, both Optus and SBS have confirmed that, as an interim measure, Optus will share its broadcast rights with the national broadcaster (for at least the next 48 hours), allowing SBS to broadcast games while Optus addresses Optus Sport's streaming issues.

How soon the company can deliver smooth streaming is still unknown, but SBS chief Michael Ebeid has said today that the broadcaster is ready to step into the breach and warned that Optus' issues will need to be sorted out in the next 24 to 48 hours.

"I think that would be a very hard decision for them to take", Stavros said.

With free-TV provider SBS broadcasting one match per day during the group phase, the only way Australians can watch every game live is via the paid-for "Optus Sport".

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.

"So at the end of the day you have to cut your cloth to suit your own funding".

"The world cup coverages is very poor quality, so many times happens that i had to refresh the page, after i did that unfortunately coverage could only lasted for about few seconds", one Optus subscriber known as Gooners74 wrote on Optus Sport's online forum.

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They have learned from their mistakes on that front as they were quick to respond to fans' outrage and stated the best option for fans would be to download the official World Cup app. Only solution is to give live rights back to SBS and have Optus as a catch-up service. "Almost a week in, they're proving sceptics right".

"This is useless ... can't even watch through your App".

"For those users now experiencing technical difficulties on Optus Sport, please enter your details into the 2018 FIFA World Cup app to watch the Costa Rica-Serbia game while our tech teams work to fix the problem", the telco wrote on Twitter.

Despite pledges from Optus to fix the matter, many users have continued to experience service interruptions.

Buying up the rights to the English Premier League a couple years ago and following it up with taking on the World Cup was a big gamble for Optus and represented a massive shift in Australia's media landscape.

As Argentina and Iceland fought out a 1-1 draw - with legendary Lionel Messi missing a penalty - former Socceroo Robbie Slater led the social media angst.

"However, some customers who watched the match on the Optus Sport app, on certain devices through other telco networks, experienced buffering issues".

Contrary to the claims of users, Optus asserts the "majority" of customers are having a "good" World Cup "broadcast experience". As a result of these actions incidences of buffering reduced significantly during the course of the night to low levels. Obviously they had some issues over the weekend particularly on the Saturday night, which I know they worked around the clock on Sunday to address.

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