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Optus hands over remaining World Cup matches to SBS to simulcast

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Optus today announced it will hand over the remaining games of the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be simulcast with SBS following the telco’s disastrous start to its streaming broadcast of the world’s largest sporting event.

For viewers, this means the upcoming Round of 16 and all of the finals will be available to view for free on SBS and on Optus Sport.

Last week, Optus decided to offer free access to the Optus Sport service this until August 31 which will also include the first three rounds of the English Premier League.

Optus CEO Allan Lew says the company’s decision to simulcast the remaining games of the World Cup was made with customers in mind.

“Optus is here to push the boundaries of innovation in Australia and deliver choice to customers,” Mr Lew said.

“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.

“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.”

Mr Lew said despite the simulcast set up, Australians have still chosen to tune into Optus Sport to watch the World Cup.

“We encourage people to download the Optus Sport app and give us a try,” he said.

Even though Optus is giving customers free access to Optus Sport, the whole World Cup campaign will be seen as a failure for the company.

This tournament was supposed to demonstrate Optus not only as a telco, but also as an entertainment company and content provider.

Unfortunately for them, the streaming debacle made the headlines instead of the World Cup matches they were attempting to broadcast.