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Optus Tries To Erase Their “Floptus” Reputation

Their initial crack at trying to stream a Soccer World Cup event, earned them the nickname “Floptus” as tens of thousands were left stranded without a World Cup streaming service, because the Singapore owned Optus carrier did not have the technology in place to handle the tens of thousands tried to get onto the network.

In the end they had to offload the rights to the SBS with management basically admitting that they did have in place the right streaming technology in the past to deliver a reliable service.

Now Optus is back trying to have another crack, with the Women’s World Cup that kicks off in Sydney this week.

After engaging in a selective media approach, the network whose technology failed them last year, when their mobile network was hacked, is this time sharing the rights for the Women’s World Cup which will not get the same audience appeal as the men’s World Cup with the Seven network.

In Australia the event is tipped to generate the lion’s share of the viewing audience across the 15 games that the Seven Network are also putting to air live including the ones featuring the Australian Women’s team the Matilda’s.

This is the same carrier network that forked out over $600M, to get the rights to the UK Premier League, after several streaming services in Australia including Foxtel and Stan only submitted low ball bids for the rights.

Optus is the main broadcaster of the tournament which will see sixty-four games streamed, having invested heavily in broadcast production partners to deliver the service this time round.

Last time round the network ended up having to refund millions in what was seen as a major embarrassment for Optus who appears to have underestimated the amount of people who would be logging into their network.

Clive Dickens, Optus’ vice-president of television, content and product development appears to be only doing selective media events, with business media given a tour of the studio where the broadcast will be hosted from with management appearing to be more concerned about the value of their shares if the event goes pear shaped again.

The Australian Financial Review claimed that in 2018, Optus’ FIFA World Cup broadcast was so poor that not only did the term “Floptus” enter the local vernacular, but the company had to offload the rights to SBS.

Optus has not explained what will happen if the Australian team ‘flops’ and fails to progress through the championship with analysts tipping that local audiences for the event “will fall significantly”.

At their recent tech briefing day, which was more a relaunch of Optus after their disastrous hack attach management failed to mention their cover of the Women’s World Cup.

After trying to do the Men’s World Cup in 2018 on the cheap Optus is now claiming that they have put in the investment to make sure there are no own goals.

Dickens, told the AFR “Globally the Women’s World Cup isn’t yet as big as the men’s, but it will be the biggest World Cup that Australia has ever been interested in because it has never hosted one before, and we predict will have audiences that are comparable to the Sydney 2000 Olympics,” Dickens said. “There’s one big factor of whether that prediction comes true; how well our Matildas play.”

It appears that Optus is set to use the event to spruik their own broadband and mobile services alongside several other brands who have invested in the event.

“It lets us showcase all of the great network and products and services through what will be a huge audience event. So, it’s a very big investment for the company, but also a very important moment for the country. “Dickens claims.

The broadcast will be available on Fetch TV boxes which archrival Telstra now controls.

It will also be available on Chromecast and Android devices as well as Apple TV.

In the media coverage dished out by Optus so far, there is no mention of streaming quality, or whether the event will be available in 4K.

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