Optus EPL debut match besieged with bugs and freezes, user anger

Optus’ bid to become a major content player with its exclusive coverage of the English Premier League got off to a rocky start over the weekend as hundreds of customers took to social media to complain about buggy feeds, delays and freezes.

The bid by the telco to steal away Foxtel’s soccer-loving audience has faced a number of hurdles, from initial anger of the successful $180 million bid for the rights, to concerns over the needs to be an Optus customer to get the feed and the costs involved.

The EPL’s opening weekend on Optus was followed quickly by a wave of disgruntled people posting on Twitter and Facebook about delays and freezes with some commentators accusing the telco of ruining the opening weekend.

Optus EPL Twitter coments

The Optus launch is the second major streaming video launch to be greeted with consumer anger after the Seven Network was criticised for early problems with its Rio Olympics app last weekend.

Optus said some of the issues experienced by users on the weekend were in part due to the wide variety of platforms that people were using to take the EPL stream.

“The technology used to deliver ‘over-the-top’ content via broadband and mobile networks is slightly slower than traditional terrestrial and satellite broadcasting,” an Optus spokesperson said.

“This is consistent with the viewing experience on other web-based or app content services currently operating in Australia. While we have not received a large number of calls about lags to the streaming service, we recognise that individual experiences can vary, particularly over devices, browser interfaces, and networks.”

The company said that it had a call centre operating 24/7 to allow people to trouble-shoot their devices.

It also admitted that issues with the feed out of the UK led to a delay in transmissions being received in Australia, something some users cited as a concern for those trying to enjoy live betting on games at the same time.

“Optus can confirm that there was a 30-second transmission disruption during the broadcast of last night’s Premier League match between Bournemouth vs Manchester United,” it said.

“We have been advised by the Premier League that the disruption was caused by their satellite distribution supplier. The issue was not related to an Optus mobile or fixed broadband network outage, or the Optus Sport App.

“As soon as Optus became aware of the issue we switched to an alternative feed. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused and appreciate their patience while the satellite feed was restored.”

One commuter watching the feed in Sydney this morning told Mumbrella that the phone app taking the EPL feed was working for him but: “It’s not Foxtel in HD on a big screen, is it?”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.