Optus Sport has conceded and will allow SBS to simulcast all the remaining group stage game of the FIFA World Cup, after being dogged by streaming issues through the course of the tournament’s initial stages.
Company CEO Allan Lew held a conference call with media a short time ago, confirming the decision to give broadcast rights back to the SBS, who will now broadcast every remaining game of the group stage simultaneously with Optus Sport‘s maligned platform.
Previously, the telco had ceded rights to the Cup to SBS for 48 hours while the company entered crisis talks amid an avalanche of criticism from enraged fans, who suffered widespread streaming issues as the company’s dedicated platform buckled under extreme demand.
SBS issued a statement shortly after the call, with managing director Michael Ebeid confirming his network will carry all remaining group stage games, which are due to end on Friday, June 29th.
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 the games, together with Optus over the next ten days.
Non-Optus customers who forked over $14.95 for the subscription service in order to watch the World Cup will be refunded in full.
There’s no word yet on what Optus plans to do as far as the knockout stage games is concerned; the telco has exclusive rights to at least four of the Round of 16 games and two of the Quarter Final matchups.
Optus officials remain confident their technical issues can be resolved by then, particularly with a lightened viewership load thanks to the SBS simulcasts.
The SBS broadcasts will continue tonight, with Portugal vs Morocco set to commence at 10:00pm AEST.