Advertisement

SBS To Show World Cup Games Until June 29, After More Optus Trouble

Customers will also be refunded their payment for the Optus app.

SBS will continue to broadcast all FIFA World Cup games until at least June 29 and the end of the tournament's group stages, after further issues plaguing the embattled Optus Sports network.

Those who paid $14.95 for the Optus Sports app will also have their fees repaid.

SBS, the public broadcaster, had traditionally broadcast all tournament games in previous years but in 2018, only had rights to show one game each day.

However, following persistent troubles, patchy reception and streaming issues on the Optus Sports app -- which was the only way to view most of the World Cup -- the telco relented on Monday and allowed SBS to broadcast games for 48 hours.

On Wednesday, Optus said it would allow SBS to broadcast a further nine days of matches, as streaming issues were smoothed out.

“Over the last 48 hours, we have introduced a range of measures to address the technical issues experienced by some Optus Sport viewers," CEO Allen Lew said in a statement.

“Since Monday, Optus has delivered the last six matches without issue. This has provided the confidence we needed to reassure the Australian public that we have addressed these issues and that our efforts have worked."

On Monday, Optus said it was confident it had fixed the streaming issues, but permitted SBS to broadcast all six games on Monday and Tuesday as a "failsafe". But on Wednesday, Optus announced SBS would be allowed to show all games until at least June 29, the end of the group stages of the tournament.

"Following further discussions with Optus today, it has been mutually agreed that SBS will continue simulcasting the 2018 FIFA World Cup until the end of Group Stage on Friday 29 June, bringing more football to Australian audiences," SBS said in a statement.

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

"We appreciate customers have given us another go and invite those to tune in for tonight’s games," he said.

In addition to allowing SBS broadcast rights, Optus said it will also provide free access to its Sports app until August 31. This would allow streaming of all World Cup games, including the final stages of the tournament, as well as access to the first three rounds of the English Premier League.

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

Optus' Facebook pages has been flooded with angry comments following many users being unable to watch matches easily.

"The same problem is happening again. Come on, how can you allow this to be the product? You are ruining the World Cup," wrote one user.

Another said: "Thank you Optus Sport. You have ruined my 2018 World Cup experience."

In a statement to The Guardian, Optus blamed its initial trouble with broadcasting the most popular sporting event on Earth on "an extremely high number of viewers logging into our platforms just before kick-off causing some systems to overload."

More to come.