SBS, Optus to simulcast remaining World Cup games

Optus Sport's streaming service has been plagued by buffering issues and glitches leaving Australian soccer fans furious

Soccer streaming failure Optus has finally given up on its $8 million World Cup campaign and agreed to let SBS broadcast the rest of its exclusive games. Optus is said to have paid SBS around $8million in the deal.

'Optus is here to push the boundaries of innovation in Australia and deliver choice to customers, ' Mr Lew said.

Optus CEO Allen Lew said the decision to simulcast the remaining games was to appease the fans who had been adversely impacted by problems with its service.

Officials at SBS announced this afternoon that every remaining game of the World Cup will be simulcast on SBS, alongside Optus' existing and heavily maligned streaming coverage, which includes all Round of 16, Quarter Final, Semi Final, and Final matchups.

Optus last week responded by asking SBS to screen all of the games in the group stage.

The debacle saw Optus derided as "Floptus" and even Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull weighed in, demanding the telco's boss fix the problems.

Despite its concession, Mr Lew claims "technical issues" during opening weekend have been "addressed", with the overall matter a learning experience.

'That's why we have provided several ways to watch the matches, offered refunds and introduced a range of measures to address the technical issues experienced by some Optus Sport viewers.

Optus Sport sub-licensed the rights to stream the World Cup from SBS at a reported cost of $8 million, with 39 matches initially set to be exclusive.

Optus will also offer Optus Sport free of charge to those users until August 31.

SBS chief executive Michael Ebeid said the network was pleased to be able to screen the remaining games. SBS coverage will continue live from Red Square in Moscow from 5.30pm each match day with Craig Foster and Lucy Zelić offering their expert commentary, as well as commentary from English football commentator Martin Tyler.

Optus made a sub-licensing deal with SBS in 2016 that allowed the telco to screen all 64 matches at Russian Federation 2018, 39 of them exclusively.

With 8 million^ Australians tuning into SBS's coverage to date, we know how passionate the country is about the world game and are confident fans will continue to engage with the matches as we head towards the end of the competition in Russian Federation.

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