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Rugby World Cup Moves To Free-To-Air After NZ Streaming Fail

NZ-based Spark Sport’s streaming service was plagued by glitches during the All Black’s first game in the Rugby World Cup, which forced the company to simulcast the games free-to-air on TVNZ.

The streaming service had to screen the second half of the All Blacks vs. Springboks match due to customers facing constant pixelating, blurring, buffering or lost signals.

The NZ-based company will also be offering refunds to unhappy customers.

Spark Sport CEO Jolie Hodson claims they had no idea about the flaw in its sports streaming service and put the blame solely on its US-based streaming partner, as opposed to it having anything to do with Spark Sport’s platform.

“Most of our customers got a good service, however, I do recognise there are a number of customers who didn’t, which is why we always had the back-up plan about the ability to shift over to free-to-air,” Hodson told The AM Show.

“The issue on Saturday night, caused by the configuration of the video signal from the US, had been identified, resolved and fixed,” Spark’s head of sport Jeff Latch added.

“We’ve worked incredibly hard to sort out what went wrong and we’re confident that we’re going to deliver the remaining 41 matches perfectly.”

Spark Sport refuses to release the numbers related to how many of its customers had cancelled their subscriptions or asked for refunds due to the issue.

Also, no set figure has been allocated to the refund budget.

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