Seven blames global demand for Olympic App failure

The Seven Network has blamed the “unprecedented” global popularity of streaming for the shambolic launch of its Olympic Games App which has left some users frustrated.

Seven app 2Seven switched on the app on Saturday offering live streams of its terrestrial channels for free and further access to events it wasn’t broadcasting for a $20 fee, while Telstra customers get access to the entire app for free.

Social media immediately lit up with users saying they could not get the app to work, with freezes and crashes stopping them from viewing the games.

Telstra, which has invested heavily in promoting the app and is offering its extended coverage free to customers, has said the issue is Seven’s to fix.

In the Google Play Store nearly 2000 people had given the app a one star rating, with the average rating 1.5 out of 5.

“Even after updating this app, I just can’t seem to get it to even open any more,” one user complaint said.

“When I first got the app, I liked that I could select which events I was interested in but would like to be able to select how far in advance that I’d like to be notified about each event. I much preferred the app from what I think was the last Olympics, Vegemite. It was easy to use, gave lots of options about which sports I was interested in & when I wanted to be reminded to watch it. Epic fail 7.”

Telstra went on Twitter to apologise for the failures saying “we’re working with Channel Seven to fix it”.

Telstra tweets

However, a spokesperson for Seven said the issues were out of the network’s control.

“The unprecedented demand for live sports streaming from Rio Olympics has had a massive impact on streaming architecture,” the spokesperson said.

“We apologise for inconvenience that this is causing and doing our best to restore streams soon. Users may have experienced issues accessing the app and live streams due to the demand. Our service provider in Rio delivering the ‘Olympics on 7’ app is working to resolve this and the impact from the heavy demand.

“Again, we apologise.”

Seven issued a further statement this morning: “Millions of Australians are watching our coverage across all the screens of Seven.

“2.8 million streams yesterday alone has shattered our previous record of 843,000 during the Australian Open and the 488,000 launch at last Year’s Melbourne Cup.

“Unfortunately some have experienced problems streaming within the ‘Olympics On 7’ app yesterday. It is an international problem created by unprecedented demand across the globe.

“Our streaming partners – Olympic Broadcasting Services in Rio and Akamai – have assured us they are doing everything they can to avoid a repeat of any problems caused by the unparalleled audiences coming into digital platforms today.”

Issues with the app continued to dog the network today with callers to the ABC saying they were not able to access specific events they had wanted to watch.

Telstra was also caught in the fallout with many people also blaming it for the failures.

The telco has invested heavily in sponsoring the app and was forced into the Federal Court by the Australian Olympic Committee to defend its marketing campaign, with the AOC claiming it was misleading consumers into thinking Telstra was a sponsor of the Australian Olympic Team.

Telstra won the case and launched a massive campaign promoting its sponsorship of Seven’s app in the wake of the ruling.

While Telstra was telling angry customers on social media that it was working with Seven to fix the issues, a Telstra spokesperson told Mumbrella it was Seven’s issue to solve.

“Any questions regarding the app itself really need to be directed to Seven,” the spokesperson said.

It went on to note how “excited” the company was to offer customers the app.


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