SBS to broadcast all World Cup group stages following Optus failure
Australian football fans will now have free access to every match in the Group Stage of the FIFA World Cup until Friday 29 June, either through SBS or Optus Sport.
After the telco companies failed attempt to exclusively stream matches on their Optus Sport network earlier this week, all customers who purchased the $14.95 per month streaming package will receive full refunds.
SBS Managing Director, Michael Ebeid said in an announcement on Wednesday afternoon: “The FIFA World Cup is the absolute pinnacle of football, a sport that Australians are deeply passionate about.”
“SBS looks forward to continuing to simulcast games, together with Optus for the next ten days,” he said.
Optus CEO Allen Lew said Optus and SBS were yet to make a decision on whether the telco would cover the finals exclusively, following the group stages.
“We’ve listened to the public and decided to give Australia a choice, we don’t want to continue to force them to use our product, we want them to have an alternative,” he said
“That for me is the most important thing that we can do to make sure that we reinstate confidence in the brand.”
The repercussions from the massive failure of technology will undoubtedly cause disruptions with third-party deals.
“As we are now going to be free for all Australians, we will obviously expect more people on the app, that is something we will need to discuss separately with each individual advertiser,” he said.
“We are entering a new era of mobile internet and live sport streaming is an emerging technology and I think our partners also under that and know the risk they take.”
“There is no doubt that this has adversely affected the Optus brand. We’ve always known that when we go into new technologies, there are risks. We try to manage these and obviously we have not done a proper job,” Lew said.