Optus has been dealt a serious blow in its broadcast of FIFA World Cup following streaming service failures over the weekend.
Yesterday, the telco was forced to apologise for its poor quality streams, buffering and playback issues, posting a tweet to Optus’ Twitter from CEO Allen Lew.
"I apologise unreservedly to all Australians.
"We should have done better, we can do better and we will do better."@Optus CEO Allen Lew to @OptusSport customers who experienced streaming issues during the opening nights of the #WorldCup #OptusSport
— Optus (@Optus) June 17, 2018
Now, having spoken to prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, Lew announced six games initially scheduled to be broadcast on the Optus Sports app would instead be broadcast on free-to-air (FTA) TV network SBS.
Lew called the shake-up a “failsafe” option for the telco.
Speaking at a media briefing Monday night, Lew said, “By the time the games return to the app in two days time, we will have most of the issues worked out.”
“I think there’s no doubt this has adversely affected the Optus brand.
“We have always know that when you go into new technologies, there are benefits for customers and as a company, we are taking some risks. We have tried to manage the risks.
“Obviously we have not done a proper job over the weekend but we believe the brand is stronger than just one event over three days. We will recover and will prove to Australia we can be a credible multimedia company,” he added.
Turnbull made a comment of his own regarding the SBS game broadcast, hinting he had had a stern word with Lew following what some have called “#Floptus”.
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) June 18, 2018
According to a press release sent out by SBS last night, the FTA network will begin broadcasting the games as of today.
“In addition to the previously scheduled matches between Tunisia v England from 3.30am* tomorrow morning and Colombia v Japan from 9.30pm* tomorrow evening, SBS will broadcast every 2018 FIFA World Cup™ match live for the next 48 hours on television,” it said.
Optus experienced its first tech problems during Friday night’s match between Egypt and Uruguay.
Angry consumers paying $14.99 per month for the streaming Optus Sports service took to social media to decry the service.
As well as angry streamers, TV personality Karl Stefanovic also hopped on the bandwagon, slamming Optus on yesterday’s episode of the Today Show.
During the heated takedown, Stefanovic said, “It’s the biggest show in town – and instead of watching the World Cup we are watching ‘playback error’ on our phones.