Optus has announced that SBS will be airing all World Cup games over the next 48 hours.
The announcement comes after a slew of complaints from customers who have been experiencing connectivity issues and dropouts while trying to use the Optus Sport streaming service.
In fact it got so bad that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stepped in.
— SBS Australia (@SBS) June 18, 2018
Until now, SBS has only been broadcasting Australian, group and finals games on free-to-air, while Optus Sports has had exclusive rights to all other matches, charging $15 a month for the service.
Mr. Turnbull spoke to Optus chief executive Allen Lew earlier today in an effort to get the problems solved. Unfortunately, the problems persisted and a deal was made with SBS to broadcast the games for the next two days. Optus Sport will continue to broadcast the matches simultaneously.
“He assures me he is giving the World Cup streaming problems his personal attention and he believes it will be fixed this evening,” Mr Turnbull said.
“He obviously acknowledges they’ve had some real problems with streaming from the Optus platform.
“He believes he can fix it, believes it will be fixed tonight, and obviously Australian soccer fans will be expecting Optus to deliver in that regard.”
In a media call earlier today Mr. Lew stated that it would be inappropriate to comment on whether his discussions with the Prime Minister involved a broadcasting agreement with SBS.
Optus issued a full statement earlier this evening, which you can read here:
— Optus (@Optus) June 18, 2018
The streaming issue was also brought up in Parliament during question time, with opposition leader Bill Shorten suggesting that SBS funding cuts may be to blame, saying “had we not had to look at our budgets, we probably would have retained [all World Cup rights].”