Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is forced to intervene to ensure seamless broadcast of the FIFA World Cup 2018 matches in the country. Technical issues have affected the broadcast picture quality – and no video at all – in Australia during the live telecast of the FIFA World Cup 2018 games in Russia.
Following the Prime Ministerial intervention the official broadcaster for the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Australia, Optus Sports have allowed SBS to broadcast the World Cup games live for next 48 hours. In the meantime, Optus will try and resolve the streaming issue.
An ardent sports lover Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who had also stepped in to ensure the suspension of disgraced cricketers Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, had issued directives to ensure the uninterrupted broadcast of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in the country.
According to media reports, Optus Sports had acquired the FIFA World Cup right for Australian $8 million. The prevailing issue, besides damaging the broadcaster’s goodwill, also cost it huge financial losses.
The fans, who have paid $15 for the World Cup games package, were anguished for not being able to access the Optus broadcast links.
Meanwhile, Optus Sports chief executive Allen Lew has apologised “unreservedly to all Australians”. However, the situation became grimmer as the problem could not be solved even on Sunday night.
SBS has now stated that it will air all World Cup games for the next 48 hours – Monday and Tuesday.
“I have spoken with the Optus CEO, Allen Lew,” PM Turnbull wrote on Twitter. “He assures me he is giving the World Cup streaming problems his personal attention and he believes it will be fixed this evening.”
The scandal, which is being monitored with interest by many sporting bodies in Australia given streaming is widely considered the future of broadcasting live sport, has already attracted the interest of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). “We are seeking further information from Optus on what steps it is taking to comply with the Australian Consumer Law,” an ACCC spokesperson said.
“Under the Australian Consumer Law, services must be fit for the purpose and deliver on what was promised. Consumers impacted by the streaming problems are advised to contact the service provider directly.”
Optus offered some disgruntled customers a free set-top box on Monday. However, this created more angst as some users reported difficulties collecting these units from local stores.
Optus has exclusive rights to broadcast some quarterfinals and round-of-16 games.