Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

SBS gets to broadcast more World Cup games as Optus troubles continue

SBS gets to broadcast more World Cup games as Optus troubles continue

After sharing World Cup coverage with SBS over the past 48 hours due to technical issues, Optus Sport have announced that they'll continue to do so for all remaining group games at the tournament.

Speaking to early on Wednesday afternoon, Optus Vice President for Public Affairs, Andrew Sheridan, was unable to say if everything was on track to reclaim the exclusive broadcast rights, suggesting the company had not made a final decision at the time. "We want Australians to be able to experience the content we have on offer", he said.

Lew said streaming problems had been caused by a "failure in a critical part of our content delivery network".

"We have learnt from that issue", he said, adding a similar issue should not be repeated even when it was opened up as a free service.

Previously, the telco had ceded rights to the Cup to SBS for 48 hours while the company entered crisis talks amid an avalanche of criticism from enraged fans, who suffered widespread streaming issues as the company's dedicated platform buckled under extreme demand.

Australian telco Optus has been under fire from outraged fans after World Cup games were constantly disrupted by frozen screens, buffering, service interruptions and error messages.

"That for me is the most important thing that we can do to make sure that re-instate confidence in the brand".

Lew said it was a "gesture of goodwill" to allow SBS access to show more group-stage games.

Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has finalized a move to English Premier League club West Ham while on national-team duty at the World Cup. "You are ruining the World Cup", wrote one user.

Quite how the BBC will cope with an all-OTT delivery of key national events - in particular in UHD - is a major question for their engineers, and hopefully they can cure the audio vs video latency problems, as well as opening up their UHD transmissions to the UK's millions of owners of UHD displays.

Communications minister Mitch Fifield called the Optus-SBS compromise "sensible".

"I have spoken with the Optus CEO, Allen Lew".

"If they haven't already done so they should contact Optus with details of their experience and ask for at least a partial refund of their monthly charge".

The BBC is making available UHD signals via its iPlayer service of the current FIFA World Cup football matches, but declined to give any idea as to the numbers of viewers who had managed to access the signals.

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