OPTUSâS World Cup nightmare keeps getting worse.
Itâs becoming an all-too-familiar sight for football fans across Australia: Instead of sitting back watching the stars of the game on the biggest stage battle it out, the majority are left staring at a blank screen.
Only a matter of moments into Sunday nightâs opening encounter between Serbia and Costa Rica, the lingering issue of subscribers to Optus Sport encountering technical difficulties when trying to stream matches reared its ugly head again.
A message stating there was a âplayback errorâ appeared and forced users to miss the contest.
The only way to watch every game live in Australia is with Optus Sport, which you need to pay for. Traditional World Cup broadcaster SBS is only showing one match per day during the group stage.
But fans who tuned in to the Optus stream on Friday night for Uruguayâs game against Egypt were robbed of the chance to see all the action because of problems with the stream. Thatâs a problem thatâs repeated itself in the opening days of the tournament and fans are furious.
Karl Stefanovic joined the chorus of outrage, slamming Optus on The Today Show on Monday morning.
âItâs the biggest show in town. Instead of watching the World Cup, we are watching âplayback errorâ on our phones,â Stefanovic said.
âMany were sceptical when Optus acquired the rights to the World Cup and many thought they wouldnât be up to it. Well, nearly a week in, theyâre proving the sceptics right.
âOptus is hopeless. If you canât deliver the product youâre selling, you go out of business. The only problem is no one else can sell it, they donât have the rights, Optus has the rights.
âNow Iâm racking my brain to think when SBS ever had a problem with the broadcasting of the World Cup ever.
âOptus, you are in telecommunications. If you canât get your satellites together then let SBS do it, or Nine, or my uncle Rob who could do a better job hanging a coathanger from the Edmonton Bowls Club in far north Queensland.
âGet it right. This is too big a deal to stuff up.â
The venting on social media didnât take long to reach hysterical heights.
A series of disasters prompted Optus chief executive Allen Lew to offer disgruntled Aussie viewers a bold guarantee that the spluttering, buffering technical issues and faulty Chromecast links would be fixed by Sunday night (AEST).
âI apologise unreservedly to all Australians,â Lew told Fairfax Media.
âWe should have done better, we can do better and we will do better.
âAustralians can be assured that this has my personal attention, and the entire network teamâs attention, and we will solve it. We will solve this problem by the end of this evening.â
Unfortunately for Mr Lew, Sunday night arrived and the lingering streaming issues not only persisted, but it appeared no fixes had been implemented.
The host broadcaster enraged fans on Friday night as they continued to tweet out updates from the ongoing clash between Egypt and Uruguay instead of addressing the stream issues.
They have learned from their mistakes on that front as they were quick to respond to fansâ outrage and stated the best option for fans would be to download the official World Cup app.
Optus Sport then issued another statement on Twitter:
âWe are aware that some users are currently experiencing technical difficulties during the Costa Rica-Serbia game,â it wrote.
âOur tech teams are working urgently to fix this.â
Sadly the constant issues which have plagued the global gameâs marquee tournament have left fans severely enraged with one stating âSurely this is the end for @OptusSportâ.
Optus Sport had earlier attempted to pin the ongoing issues on other providers, claiming its network did not have any issues.
An Optus spokeswoman on Saturday stated they believed the âvast majority of viewers were not impacted and had a good viewing experience,â a spokeswoman said.
âHowever, some customers who watched the match on the Optus Sport app, on certain devices through other telco networks, experienced buffering issues.â
The persistent issues has left Socceroos legends, TV personalities and fans enraged, with former Socceroo and now Fox Sports personality Robbie Slater leading the charge in savaging the company.
With faith in the telco now at an all-time low, the host broadcaster now has a long way to go to win back football fans.