Culture&Arts

SBS will broadcast all FIFA World Cup group stage matches

SBS will broadcast all FIFA World Cup group stage matches

"Since Monday, Optus has delivered the last six matches without issue", said Allen Leo, Chief Executive Officer at Optus.

Optus Chief Executive Officer Allen Lew has today announced that Optus will offer Optus Sport to all Australians for free until 31 August [i].

Federation Internationale de Football Association is "extremely satisfied with the level of refereeing" at the World Cup, and hails the introduction of video review as a success.

The telco was initially set to show the lion's share of football games under exclusive licence from SBS, but backlash from viewers experiencing patchy streams in the opening days of the tournament has seen Optus work to mend customer confidence in addition to its connectivity woes.

It got to a point where Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stepped in to speak to Mr Lew about the issue on Monday.

Mr Lew said despite some issues, thousands of customers continue to sign up to Optus Sport and wanted the flexibility to watch content when and wherever they choose.

Optus also chose to provide all Australians with free access to its streaming service, and those users who paid 15 Australian dollars ($11) to access Optus Sport during the World Cup will receive refunds.




The streaming quality of its EPL coverage was also criticised when it first launched in 2016 with some users complaining about picture quality, buffering issues and annoyed by a slight delay.

Optus, which has rights to all 64 matches in Russian Federation, has also announced that fans will be able to sign up to the Optus Sport app for free until 31st August, while anyone who has already paid the AUD$15 subscription will be refunded.

"Optus and SBS have agreed that SBS can televise all FIFA World Cup games for the next 48 hours, giving all Australians the chance to enjoy the tournament", SBS said.

"As part of the testing and end-to-end field testing of this product, we have made it more resilient and we are now confident that even when we open it up for free to all Australians we will have the capacity and capability to meet the needs of Australians".

Lew said Optus and SBS were yet to make a decision on whether the telco would cover the finals exclusively, following the group stages. "We want Australians to be able to experience the content we have on offer", Lew added.

But despite the hefty price tag, the move has been largely good for the telco.

"We've learned a very important lesson from last weekend and we're confident of handling the knockout rounds", Optus said.


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