Optus Sport team up with SBS for all remaining group matches

Australia's first attempt at streaming a major sports event turned to custard in the opening round of the Fifa World Cup

GETTY Australia's first attempt at streaming a major sports event turned to custard in the opening round of the Fifa World Cup

Optus Sport has conceded and will allow SBS to simulcast all the remaining group stage game of the FIFA World Cup, after being dogged by streaming issues through the course of the tournament's initial stages.

Last night Optus announced it would simulcast 48 hours of matches with SBS after viewers encountered connection issues and drop outs during games over the weekend.

The telecommunications giant has come in for widespread criticism in Australia after repeated disruptions to its streaming coverage of the worldwide soccer tournament, which has been marred by buffering issues and constant lag.

Unfortunately, things haven't been quite so peachy at Optus this week, and after struggling to get the World Cup broadcast streaming to its paid subscribers (and taking heat over it), it's handing the reigns over to SBS. This has provided us with the confidence that out efforts have worked.

Optus initially said the demand volume "was much greater than we had anticipated" and while Lew said today that he was confident the telco had fixed the initial problems, the company appears to be offering a major mea culpa in giving away the rest of the group matches for free and refunding customers.

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.

However, if the BBC wants an object lesson in depending on broadband for the supply of a mass-market sporting event they should speak to Australia's OPTUS, where the Federation Internationale de Football Association video stream was "battered" by multiple failures and admitting that they were overwhelmed by consumer demand, and in particular last-minute requests for the signals.

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"However confident we are, we have listened to the feedback of Australian soccer fans".

Optus Sport will also be made free for all Aussies until August 31.

"Since Monday we have continued to improve our product and Optus have delivered the last six matches of the world Cup without issue".

MR ALLEN LEW, Optus CEO, on the glitches that plagued the World Cup screenings in Australia. "We appreciate customers have given us another go and invite those to tune in for tonight's games", added Lew.

Fabianksi is the back-up to Wojciech Szczesny for Poland at the World Cup and didn't play in the team's first group game, a 2-1 loss to Senegal.

In terms of the impact this decision will have on the deals Optus has with its broadcast partners such as Hisense, TAB and Hyundai, Lew says this will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

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