Optus drops World Cup bombshell

Australians will continue to be able to watch the Football World Cup on SBS after telco Opus relinquished exclusive

Optus will continue to stream the World Cup as it attempts to rebuild its reputation as a football destination, having recently extended its deal to broadcast the English Premier League.

However, following persistent troubles, patchy reception and streaming issues on the Optus Sports app - which was the only way to view most of the World Cup - the telco relented on Monday and allowed SBS to broadcast games for 48 hours.

"The reason why we have announced what we did today is that the feedback from all Australians is that they want to have choice, so we've made a decision to listen to Australians and given them that choice, rather than forcing them to take our product, we have given them the choice to come to our product which we believe in".

This evening, Mr Lew announced that Optus will offer Optus Sport to all Australians for free until 31 August.

"Optus customers who have a complaint about Optus Sport delivered as part of their mobile or home broadband account can make a complaint to the [Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman], if their complaint to Optus is unresolved", the spokesman said.

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

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.

Uruguay turn to golden oldies against Saudi Arabia
The second half was even scrappier, with Saudi Arabia too limited to run riot as Uruguay were happy with a narrow advantage. However, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation was quick to release a statement saying that the players are safe.

The faulty Optus streaming service prompted Optus chief executive Allen Lew to apologise "unreservedly to all Australians" on Sunday, but there were further issues that night.

Telco Optus will allow the World Cup games earmarked for its paid-for streaming service in Australia to be shown for free on government-owned TV channel SBS until the end of the group stage.

But on 19 June, Optus said that SBS would simulcast games over the next two nights, due to the technical difficulties it had faced.

Lew said thousands of customers continue to sign up to Optus Sport.

We will go up for the next World Cup as aggressively as we did for this one.

In a statement to The Guardian, Optus blamed its initial trouble with broadcasting the most popular sporting event on Earth on "an extremely high number of viewers logging into our platforms just before kick-off causing some systems to overload". "You have ruined my 2018 World Cup experience".

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