SBS to air World Cup games after fans slammed Optus for awful coverage 

SBS will air all World Cup games for the next 48 hours after fans slammed Optus for awful coverage.  

The telco has handed the games to SBS while it tries to sort out its streaming service which has been plagued by buffering issues and glitches.

SBS sold on broadcast rights for most World Cup games to Optus Sport for a reported $8million. 

SBS will air all World Cup games for the next 48 hours after fans slammed Optus for awful coverage. Pictured: Christiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring for Portugal against Spain

Many football fans, including those who signed up for a $15 package specifically to watch World Cup games, are furious because they’ve been unable to access the Optus broadcast.

Optus chief executive Allen Lew apologised ‘unreservedly to all Australians’ on Sunday, but there were further issues that night.

SBS confirmed on Monday night it will air all World Cup games for the next 48 hours following talks with Optus.

‘I have spoken with the Optus CEO, Allen Lew. He assures me he is giving the World Cup streaming problems his personal attention and he believes it will be fixed this evening,’ Mr Turnbull tweeted on Monday.

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 ‘Fetch’ set-top box on Monday.

But this created more angst as some users reported difficulties collecting these units from local stores.

Industry sources said it’s likely the provider spectacularly underestimated demand for the service.

Demand is likely to grow as the tournament unfolds; Optus has exclusive rights to broadcast some quarter-finals and round-of-16 games.

Aside from issues during live matches, some users have complained about difficulties in accessing highlight packages and replays on demand.

An Optus spokesperson apologised to customers affected, but insisted ‘the majority of customers are having a good broadcast experience’.

Ebeid supported that claim, suggesting it’s now less than five per cent of Optus’ World Cup viewers who are encountering problems.

The World Cup is on the nation’s anti-siphoning list, but only the final and matches involving Australia.

Ebeid cited 2014 budget cuts as part of the reason his network, Australia’s World Cup broadcaster for the past 32 years, signed the Optus deal.

‘It enabled us to retain the World Cup, where we may not have been able to afford to do it on our own,’ Ebeid told radio station SEN.

‘SBS is very limited in things like its advertising revenue.’