The SBS will be airing all FIFA World Cup matches for the next 48 hours as Optus tries to sort itself out following a weekend plagued with delays and outages for Optus Sport customers.
Optus has exclusive rights to most of the games on their streaming platform, with SBS retaining the Socceroos‘ games, one match of the day per day, and the bulk of the knockout stage games.
In the announcement, the SBS said they were stoked as (paraphrasing):
The FIFA World Cup is a true multicultural celebration that unites Australia’s diverse communities and SBS is pleased to be bringing more of the tournament to Australian audiences.
In a tweet earlier this afternoon, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was taking this up with Optus personally:
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
Optus vice president of regulation and public affairs Andrew Sheridan told the SMH was the problem wasn’t insufficient infrastructure, just a volume of viewers they didn’t anticipate, which seems like a very semantically fine line to draw:
We absolutely put a lot of investment into ensuring that we can deliver the best possible experience. I can absolutely guarantee that we did not under-cater in any shape or form. . . We thought we were ready but the simultaneous volume was much greater than we had anticipated.
In the way of a ‘we fucked up soz’, Optus has offered affected customers a free Fetch box for 12 months that can be claimed in store.