Optus will now simulcast the entire FIFA World Cup on SBS, including the finals
Optus Sport is no longer the only place Aussies can catch every match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
It's been a real rough couple of weeks for Optus. Since dropping the ball during the opening weekend of the FIFA World Cup and leaving many football fans unable to watch their favourite sport live, the telco has had to backpedal on its exclusive streaming rights for the event.
First, it gave SBS simulcast rights to the World Cup for just a few days while it attempted to bolster the infrastructure supporting its Optus Sport streaming service. However, backlash from football fans was strong, and Optus ended up extending the simulcast period from a few days to cover all Group Stage matches as well as making Optus Sport free for all Australians over the course of the World Cup.
Now, the make-good efforts continue with Optus announcing that it's extending the simulcast period yet again to encompass the entirety of the World Cup. Every single match, from now until the final showdown, will be broadcast simultaneously on both SBS and Optus Sport, free of charge to all Australians.
Optus is positioning this move as a customer-first initiative. In forfeiting its exclusive rights, Optus CEO Allen Lew stated, "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."
As messy as the situation has been, it does seem like Optus is putting Aussie football fans before its profits, which is always a welcome move.