Optus and SBS have today announced that following on from the previous announcement that SBS would simulcast the Group Stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Optus and SBS will continue to simulcast the 2018 FIFA World CupTM with Optus until the end of the tournament.
The past couple of weeks have been a wild ride for Australian football fans with the Socceroos failing to make it to through the group stage of the draw, and more notably with the televised meltdown of Optus. However Optus has made good with the Australian public by offering a solution to their streaming woes by partnering with SBS to offer the World Cup for free in HD.
The decision to offer the simulcast rights to SBS was made with customers in mind said Optus CEO Allan Lew who said
Our customers and viewers have been the priority in our decision making and that’s why we have provided several ways to watch the matches, offered refunds and introduced a range of measures to address the technical issues experienced by some Optus Sport viewers.
SBS could not be more happy to receive the rights, continuing to refer to themselves as the ‘Spiritual home of the World Game’ throughout their coverage of the tournament. SBS coverage will continue live from Red Square in Moscow from 5.30pm each match day with Craig Foster and Lucy Zelić offering their expert commentary, as well as commentary from English football commentator Martin Tyler. SBS will also continue their SBS Match of the Day replays each morning at 6.30am.
Michael Ebeid AM, CEO and Managing Director, SBS said
We’re pleased to be able to simulcast more of the 2018 FIFA World CupTM matches with Optus. With 8 million^ Australians tuning into SBS’s coverage to date, we know how passionate the country is about the world game and are confident fans will continue to engage with the matches as we head towards the end of the competition in Russia.
Optus believes they have resolved the issues with streaming which was the impetus for offering simulcast streaming rights to SBSm, with Mr Lew saying
We had technical issues with the Optus Sport service over the first weekend of the tournament but we are confident that these issues have now been addressed. All of us at Optus will use what we have learned from this experience to place ourselves ahead in the delivery of content to customers via streaming to their mobile devices.
Mr Lew said that they have seen customers continue to login and use the Optus Sport app to watch the World Cup with the number of customers tuning in rising. Mr Lew encourages other users to do the same. Optus will continue to offer free access to Optus Sport until August 31st which covers the end of the World Cup and the start of the English Premier League season.