Optus streaming woes continue as it hands more exclusive games to SBS

Australian telco Optus streaming woes continue

Besieged telecommunications giant Optus has extended its deal with SBS enabling the broadcaster to continue to simulcast World Cup matches until the end of the month.

Optus, which holds exclusive screening rights to all World Cup matches, will allow the free-to-air broadcaster to air all games until the end of the Group Stage on 29 June, as it attempts to resolve its streaming issues.

Michael Ebeid, chief executive and managing director of SBS said: “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.”

The telco first struck the deal with the broadcaster after its Optus Sport streaming service suffered a wave of technical issues leaving customers unable to view the games.

The initial 48-hour deal was reached after Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stepped in to urge the company to fix the problems.

Optus chief executive Allen Lew said: “Optus have tried hard to deliver an exceptional viewing experience and deeply regret this has not been the case for all Australians.

"Since Monday we have continued to improve our product and Optus have delivered the last six matches of the World Cup without issue. This has provided us with the confidence that our efforts have worked.

"As confident as we are in our capabilities, we have listened to feedback from the Australian soccer fans."

Optus is also offering customers free access to its sports streaming service until August 31 in a bid to curry favour.

The issues, which have been coined #Floptus, have delivered a significant blow to the company’s brand reputation with many predicting it will take time to rebuild trust. Speaking earlier in the week, Lew said he was confident the brand would recover.

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