Following well publicised issues with the Optus Sport coverage of the FIFA World Cup, and a 48 hour free broadcast period with SBS, Optus CEO Allan Lew has again fronted the media this evening to provide an update on Optus Sport’s coverage.
This evening, Mr Lew announced that Optus will offer Optus Sport to all Australians for free until 31 August. Mr Lew said:
We are confident in our capabilities and are ready to back our product. We want Australians to be able to experience the content we have on offer.
Over the last 48 hours, we have introduced a range of measures to address the technical issues experienced by some Optus Sport viewers.
Since Monday, Optus has delivered the last six matches without issue. This has provided the confidence we needed to reassure the Australian public that we have addressed these issues and that our efforts have worked.
We have also listened to feedback. As a gesture of goodwill for Australian fans, Optus will also simulcast the group matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in conjunction with SBS through the Group stages.
Further still, customers who have purchased an Optus Sport subscription will receive a refund in coming days, with details to be announced.
Though Optus Sport still needs to prove itself as a viable streaming platform, Optus’ moves to make it free for the World Cup (and even the start of the English Premier League season) is a gesture of good will which will be well received.
Optus simulcasting all of the group stage matches with SBS is also a welcome development, allowing football fans to watch the group stage matches live, free and in HD without relying on an internet connection (provided, of course, they have SBS digital reception!)