Thursday , November 15 2018 Ausdroid » News » Opinion: Optus Sport should NEVER have been granted FIFA World Cup 2018 broadcast rights

As the title says, it’s just three days into the FIFA World Cup, and Optus Sport’s broadcast of the cup in Australia is an absolute disgrace. Plagued by technical issues and a service that just isn’t good enough, Australian football fans have had enough.

It’s bad enough that the rights for the English Premier League were lost from an actual broadcaster and went to Optus. Now, the rights to most of the FIFA World Cup have similarly been granted to a company that simply isn’t up to the task of delivering.

At Ausdroid, we try to be fairly even and balanced, but it’s time to call this debacle for what it is.

Optus Sport should never have been granted the rights to broadcast the FIFA World Cup

Australian Football fans deserve better than the dreadful service Optus has offered.

Optus Sport’s appalling service failed to start streaming for many users, not allowing them even a glimpse of gameplay before it failed. For many others, streaming started and then stopped, buffering and ultimately failing two nights in a row. Those ‘tuning in’ last night to watch Australia take on France were treated to a streaming service that was completely unfit for purpose, meaning that they either missed out entirely, or had to watch some other way, wasting their paid Optus Sport subscription which couldn’t be used.

So bad was Optus Sport’s service on Friday that I went out and bought an indoor Digital TV antenna so that we could watch the football on free-to-air television, because Optus’ service just could not deliver. Curious to see whether I’d wasted my time, I tried Optus Sport’s streaming last night of Australia vs France, and within minutes it failed. Again.

How to get your money back

If, like me, you’ve had enough, there’s a few steps you can follow:

  • Depending on when you subscribed, you may be able to obtain a refund through the Google Play Store.
  • If you can’t, log a support request on the Optus Sport website and explain why you’re asking for a  refund.

If you don’t have success, you can tell Optus you’ll raise their complete ineptitude with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. As per the ACCC’s guidelines on consumer guarantees, all services must “be fit for the purpose or give the results that you and the business had agreed to”. It’s pretty clear Optus isn’t able to deliver on that.

Please let us know your experience with Optus Sport. Has it been working well for you, or is it a complete joke?

Chris Rowland   Chief Executive

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Les Ran
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Les Ran

The problem is Australian telcos like Optus (and Telstra for that matter) suffer delusions of grandeur, thinking they are TV networks and content providers. Even in the 1990s, Optus wanted to be a TV network with its failed Optus Vision service.

But a Telco only has one job to do. That is to deliver data – to deliver zeros and ones – fast and efficiently. Optus will get spanked when TPG starts operating Australia’s fourth mobile network as a data service.

Harry
Guest
Harry

Anyone trying the Costa Rica v Serbia match. Havnt even been able to see a second. Constant playback error, no matter the sp or connection speed. This sucks.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Looks like a few isolated cases of issues, yes I did read a number of bad reviews in the App’s Play-Store page but most seemed inaccurate. As a Telstra customer, had no issues streaming live and on-demand matches from the Optus Sport app as well as casting from a OnePlus One to Chromecast, works seamlessly. And that’s a seamless experience on 4G and on wifi with iinet’s crappy 4M ADSL2+ connection, matches were perfectly reasonable quality without buffering on a 75″ screen. So yeah, should definitely raise the issues with Optus, but whether it’s from the latest or oldest handsets,… Read more »

Scott Plowman
Ausdroid Editor

I have tried the optus sport app on a Nokia 7 Plus, a Pixel 2 XL and a HTC U12+. Hasn’t worked once on any of them. I just used the SBS/FIFA app instead but its pretty average that the optus app fails for so many

Adam
Guest
Adam

Genuinely surprised. Works fine on the OnePlus 1, OnePlus 5, on Chrome casting to Chromecast also, plus I set it up for my non-tech-savvy parents on their Samsung tablet and screen mirroring casts fine to their old-ish Sony telly.

Rob
Guest
Rob

I’m also on Telstra 4G as well as NBN and both didn’t chromecast to any device or android TV in the Optus Sport app. I ended up using the FIFA app and logged in to watch the game via mobile. Very disappointing when I have a 75″ TV wasted.

Fred
Guest
Fred

Maybe Optus should outsource streaming provision to those running the illegal streams – they seem to have more idea, particularly of customer service. I remember SBS doing a decent job of an app with multiple camera angles, etc. that you could switch between at will. By now we ought to be beyond that, but instead it seems to have gone backwards into a pixelated, set of puddles, rather than a continuous hi def stream. Basic problem seems to be that Optus just can’t deliver anything right. Across the board they make a stuff up of everything they touch – which… Read more »

BrainBeat
Guest
BrainBeat

Now I am sorry that all of you who are having issues are having them I fully understand that it is frustrating and probably not good enough. That said I am sure it is not all customers who are having the issue for a start as Dazawwja said I am sure that all those with Fetch TV from Optus are not having any issues. I have Fetch TV but not from Optus so unfortunately that rules me out for now but I do hear that it may be available sometime in the future which is not going to help anyone… Read more »

Rob
Guest
Rob

Using the FIFA app does work when using Optus Sport login, however you can’t cast the image to chromecast or android TV making it a mobile only experience. This is disappointing when most have TV we are wanting to cast to. My casting would work for 1-2 minutes max then disconnect with seemingly no reason.

Adam
Ausdroid Reader

I’ve had zero issues casting from the FIFA app. No Optus log in, which might make a difference, but the casting functionality has worked seamlessly.

JamieS5555
Ausdroid Reader

I sideloaded the SBS Optus app on my shield console and it works great. No need to cast, just need a mouse plugged in or connected via Bluetooth

Will
Ausdroid Reader

All Optus’s apps are absolutely garbage. Just be glad you don’t have to use their WiFi Talk app. Especially on a phone running Oreo where it only works for outgoing calls and messages….

dazweeja
Ausdroid Reader

Not really useful for those without an Optus account, but Optus Sport works perfectly on Fetch and has since the Optus Sport service has been available. I don’t recall it buffering on even a single occasion.

Gabriel De-Campo
Guest
Gabriel De-Campo

All videos on the optus sport world cup subscription are pixelating! And its not just the live videos its EVERY VIDEO. On average 20% of the vidoes are good qaulity 40% poor quality and 40% really poor (unwatchable).
This is a disgrace!!! On the world cup website all videos are crisp and clean no problem. I cant help but think optus is purposely doing this in order to get more people calling for support and being roped in to changing over to optus in hope the signal will get better. THIS iS AN OUTRAGE

5sNo11
Ausdroid Reader
5sNo11

The only issue for me has been that when I am casting, the cast randomly stops and I have to disconnect and reconnect the casting. Anyone else had the same issue?

5sNo11
Ausdroid Reader
5sNo11

Alright so once I figured out how to cast from the FIFA World cup App by Optus/SBS, I had no dropout issues whatsoever last night.

Scott Plowman
Ausdroid Editor

how did you do that? Cast your entire display?

5sNo11
Ausdroid Reader
5sNo11

I was going to say that but I tried again, and now, once the Ads have passed and the video starts, I can see the usual cast button in the top right corner of the stream. If that doesn’t work, just mirror your screen, play the video and then look for the cast button to appear after the ads.

Scott Plowman
Ausdroid Editor

thanks. obviously I wasn’t patient enough to wait for the ads to finish 😀

Rob
Guest
Rob

I tried this but when the actual game is playing the cast is only a blank (black) screen. I assume this is to stop people casting their screen with other mobile-only streaming apps. I remember having foxtel now before they enabled chromecasting from mobile app and trying the same thing, there are protections in place the stop you getting around these blocks. So unfortunately I wasn’t able to cast via the fifa app.

5sNo11
Ausdroid Reader
5sNo11

I wish I could attach screenshots here… I will post something on my twitter handle tonight when the game’s on to show what I see.

Rygle
Guest
Rygle

SBS on demand wouldn’t allow streaming though they were advertising it. My wife missed the first half and tried to catch up at 9pm but it kept saying we weren’t allowed until 6.50pm. Nothing could be done so we went back to live for the second half.

Mark Smith
Ausdroid Reader

Streaming still isn’t up to TV for live action sports.

Danny
Guest
Danny

Adding to the corporate insult, with every crash and app restart, ads play again. This will look great as far as their numbers for exposure of advertisers, but it really is a false victory for them. I’ve seen ads for TAB and Hyundai at least three to four times more than I should’ve because I’ve had to restart the service to pick up the match from where it crashed. Not to mention that those ads unnecessarily chew up more of my mobile data every time they play.

Harry
Guest
Harry

Streaming on a 100mbps connection was choppy at best. stream stops every 1 min, only way to restart is to tap the live button down the bottom of the stream. Then I tried it on Optus 4G and it worked absolutely fine without a hitch. Fyi I am only getting around 30mbps on optus 4g compared to 115mbps on wifi through cable 3.0

deanomalino
Ausdroid Reader
deanomalino

It has been terrible! Correct me if I’m wrong but I think the only way Optus got the broadcast rights for the world cup was when they made a deal with SBS to let SBS broadcast one EPL game per round in exchange for the world cup rights.

Daniel Tyson
Ausdroid Editor

Under the Anti-Siphoning laws a national broadcaster has to have access to all games featuring Australia https://www.theroar.com.au/anti-siphoning-laws-australian-sport/

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