Optus extends SBS World Cup simulcasts for the rest of the tournament

The remainder of the soccer World Cup tournament will be simulcast on free to air broadcaster SBS and on the Optus streaming service, the telco announced this afternoon in the third and what seems to be final instalment of the #floptus saga.

Optus CEO Allen Lew claimed the decision, which includes making Optus Sport free until the end of August, had been made in customers’ interests and that the technical issues which have plagued the service had been solved.

Optus CEO Allen Lew: “we are confident that these issues have now been addressed.”

“We had technical issues with the Optus Sport service over the first weekend of the tournament but we are confident that these issues have now been addressed,” Lew said.

“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.”

“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.”

SBS, which holds the Australian rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments sublicensed the rights to Optus in a 2016 deal which saw the telco intending to stream most of the games, however the first weekend of the tournament proved disastrous for the telco as the service collapsed.

Following the first weekend’s disasters, Optus agreed to simulcast several days’ games with SBS while it fixed its streaming issues. Later that week it announced all group stage games would be shared with the FTA broadcaster.

Today’s announcement comes before the tournament’s knockout finals start on Sunday.

Lew claimed that despite the problems Optus Sport’s subscriber numbers have continued to rise.

“Viewers want flexibility in how they consume content – they want to be able to do it anywhere, and at any time and Optus says yes to delivering this flexibility and choice.

“We encourage people to download the Optus Sport App and give us a try.”


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