Optus Faces World Cup Broadcast Backlash
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.
I have spoken with the Optus CEO, Allen Lew. He assures me he is giving the World Cup streaming problems his personal attention and he believes it will be fixed this evening.
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) 18 June 2018
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.
— Nick Quinn (@Quinny_1) 17 June 2018
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”.
— Scott Pryde (@sk_pryde) 17 June 2018
— Robbie Slater (@RobbieSlater17) 17 June 2018
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.
While the rest of the world is enjoying the World Cup on FTA, Australian fans are being told to pay money to watch games on a mobile phone screen as host broadcaster @OptusSport doesn’t know how to broadcast.
— Richard Ings (@ringsau) 17 June 2018
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.
Optus Sport should refund everybody for this World cup. #joke
— Chad Perris (@chadperris) 17 June 2018
In addition to @optus being unable to provide a reliable service, what footage we can watch is sub-HD quality and several minutes behind live play, making social media impossible. Only solution is to give live rights back to SBS and have Optus as a catch-up service.
— Patrick Avenell (@Patrickavenell) 17 June 2018