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Optus Faces World Cup Broadcast Backlash

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UPDATE – After speaking with Optus Chief, Allen Lew, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has advised World Cup viewers, streaming problems will be fixed this evening. The news follows multiple apologies from Optus, who attribute “large demand” for technical difficulties.

World Cup fans have taken to social media to express outrage over Optus’ unreliable FIFA World Cup broadcast – some asking for refunds, others calling for government intervention.

With free-TV provider SBS broadcasting one match per day during the group phase, the only way Australians can watch every game live is via the paid-for ‘Optus Sport’.

Several subscribers complained about technical issues on Friday and Sunday night, amid the Uruguay vs Egypt and Serbia vs Costa Rica matches – e.g. a black screen “playback error”.

Despite pledges from Optus to fix the matter, many users have continued to experience service interruptions.

Optus has apologised for technical issues, affirming their team is “working around the clock” to deliver an “excellent broadcast service”.

Contrary to the claims of users, Optus asserts the “majority” of customers are having a “good” World Cup “broadcast experience”.

The Today Show’s Karl Stefanovic has also slammed “hopeless” Optus on air this morning, expressing outrage over the broadcast.

“It’s the biggest show in town. Instead of watching the World Cup, we are watching ‘playback error’ on our phones.”

Despite being a paid service ($14.99/month), viewers have reportedly received the error message several times during opening days.

Several commentators initially expressed scepticism over Optus’ ability to deliver a reliable World Cup broadcast – something Stefanovic claims is now being proved correct.

“Many were sceptical when Optus acquired the rights to the World Cup, and many thought they wouldn’t be up to it. Nearly a week in, they’re proving sceptics right.”

Some Optus Sport subsribers are even calling for refunds over the broadcaster’s unreliable service.

Optus states it’s working with some customers directly to address concerns and offer a solution.


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