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!)

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I don’t see how they have “fixed the issue for the last six matches”, they were all around 10s or so delayed from Xbox app, 5s or so delayed from phone…

On top of that is abysmal HD (read 720ish p) quality which is a massive disgrace for this day and age.. at least have 1080p!

Charles Selrahc

Aussies love a whinge don’t they 😉

Kudos to Optus for taking it on the chin like a real man, and providing the solution that everyone wanted. I’m not an Optus cusotmer – might be soon because I’m with Virgin – but will definitely consider them in the future.


“Taking it on the chin”? They really didn’t have much choice when the failure of Optus Sport is entirely their responsibility. Optus’ streaming of the English Premier League over the past two years has been fraught with exactly the same technical problems as have been seen with the World Cup. Clearly, they didn’t do their homework on what should have been easily predicted viewer numbers and build a system that was capable of delivering the required level of service. It suggests very poor project management at best, and there’s no reason to suspect this failing is limited to the Optus… Read more »


Soccer is called “The World Game”, More people watch the Soccer World Cup than the Olympic Games. Clearly no-one at Optus realised this. This is a massive face plant!!


Increasing the number of people streaming is bound to help with their technical issues! *grins* I’ve gotta say though that I did the optus premium streaming thing on my phone for two matches over the weekend and it worked perfectly

Oliver Ward

I’d already vowed to never touch another Optus product ever again – this just reconfirms it.

Luke Roberts

Except to buy a $2 starter sim… activate the service as pre-paid… then port that number to Telstra to take advatage of their $49 a month plan on the Pixel 2 XL with 15gb data… In THAT case, Optus is VERY useful!