Optus extends World Cup simulcast deal with SBS

Optus World Cup fiasco: SBS to broadcast all group stage games

Problems with streaming the opening games on the weekend on smartphones or tablets that led to crashes, connection problems and other issues produced a barrage of complaints from people who'd paid $15 to watch the games.

Chief Executive Officer Allen Lew insisted the technical issues have plagued Optus' coverage of the tournament thus far are now resolved, and that they now want Australians "to be able to experience the content we have on offer".

However the CEO added that confident as it is in its capabilities, Optus had "listened to the feedback from Australian soccer fans" and would give them the option of using either Optus Sport or SBS to watch the matches, at least until 29 June.

Optus also made a decision to provide all Australians with free access to its streaming service, and those users who paid 15 Australian dollars ($11) to access Optus Sport during the World Cup will receive refunds.

OPTUS has waved the white flag and surrendered all exclusive rights to the World Cup group stages following the streaming disaster with SBS coming to their rescue yet again.

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The free access to the Optus service extends beyond the World Cup and takes in the first two rounds of Premier League fixtures.

Optus and SBS will both broadcast every game of the 2018 World Cup until the end of the group stage.

"At the end of the day we had two different content delivery networks that serve customers across Australia".

Lew declared Optus' ability to stream all six matches "without incident" on Monday night and Tuesday night has given him "absolute confidence" that Optus will be able to stream the most important matches of the tournament without any buffering issues.

Optus initially said the demand volume "was much greater than we had anticipated" and while Lew said today that he was confident the telco had fixed the initial problems, the company appears to be offering a major mea culpa in giving away the rest of the group matches for free and refunding customers.

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Communications Minister Mitch Fifield accused Labor of hypocrisy claiming it had blocked legislation that would have allowed SBS to generate additional advertising revenue.

"We should have done better, we can do better, and we will do better", Lew said on Twitter.

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

In a statement, an Optus spokesperson said that "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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