Just hours after Optus CEO Allen Lew apologised to Australian football fans for the telco’s FIFA World Cup streaming problems and stressed the issue would be solved, the much-criticised service crashed again.
Fans trying to watch matches from Russia on Sunday night (AEST) and Monday morning were left irate as Optus’ service broke down for the third night running.
The outages came amid some big upsets in Russia as defending World Cup champion Germany lost its opening match 1-0 to Mexico and perennial favourite Brazil drew 1-1 with Switzerland on Monday morning (AEST).
What is now an unmitigated PR disaster for Optus could go even further with Socceroos legend Robbie Slater urging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to step in and help fix the problem on Twitter.
Like previous nights, criticism came from far and wide on social media, with Australia basketball star Andrew Bogut urging Optus to refund paying customers, while Matildas footballer Elise Kellond-Knight did not pull any punches in her assessment.
Bought Optus App. Still haven’t seen one minute of football on it. This needs to be addressed. Can’t believe Australians are held out of watching the biggest football event in the WORLD. Unbelievably poor #OptusSport
— Elise Kellond-Knight (@elise_kk8) June 16, 2018
— Nick Quinn (@Quinny_1) June 17, 2018
Optus has the full broadcast rights for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, showing all 64 matches, with matches viewable via the company’s FetchTV box, Apple TV or through online streams on through computers, tablets and phones.
SBS are showing 25 matches from the Cup, including all Australia matches and finals.
Some existing Optus customers are eligible to watch the company’s service for free while the telco is charging $15 for those who want to sign up to for the month of the World Cup.
In response to issues on Friday and Saturday night, Lew said on Sunday afternoon that the problems would be fixed.
“I apologise unreservedly to all Australians,” he said.
“We should have done better, we can do better and we will do better.
“Australians can be assured that this has my personal attention, and the entire network’s team’s attention, and we will solve it.”
Yet the problems continued on Sunday evening, with Optus asking viewers to watch the match between Costa Rica and Serbia via a new phone app.
“For those users currently experiencing technical difficulties on Optus Sport, please enter your details into the 2018 FIFA World Cup app to watch the Costa Rica-Serbia game while our tech teams work to fix the problem.”
Day four matches
Reigning champion Germany opened its World Cup defence with a 1-0 defeat to Mexico in Moscow.
In an end-to-end match full of chances, Hirving Lozano got the game’s only goal in the 35th minute, with Germany failing to convert any of its 25 shots.
Serbia also won 1-0, seeing off Costa Rica thanks to Aleksandar Kolarov’s second-half free-kick.
Brazil failed to win its opening World Cup match for the first time in 40 years after Steven Zuber’s controversial header for Switzerland cancelled out Philippe Coutinho’s goal in a 1-1 draw.
Heavyweights Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Spain have now all failed to win so far, while France was lucky to scrape pasty the Socceroos on Saturday..
Musings from Kazan …
The Australian invasion of Kazan is coming to an end and the touring Aussies have certainly helped the local economy.
Pubs, bars and nightclubs were very busy into the wee hours of Sunday morning as buoyant fans celebrated what was a gallant loss to France … and that meant sunglasses were a popular choice later that day.
Kazan’s stunning Kremlin is as good as it looks from a distance and this reporter is looking forward to getting out to Australia’s training base on Monday for a glimpse of the Socceroos on the training pitch.
For now, though, a photo of said Kremlin …
Try not to smile …
Watching this. Not sure it can be done. This is the beauty of the World Cup.
Every school in Uruguay are cancelling classes to watch the national team in the World Cup.
Here's footage from one school in Montevideo when Giménez scored the last minute winner today. pic.twitter.com/8Jd7uHWlzz
— Caño Football (@CanoFootball) June 15, 2018
As for goal celebrations …
According to the authorities in Mexico, a small artificial earthquake was detected in Mexico City.
The timing? Just after Lozano’s goal against Germany.
“Possibly due to mass jumping,” they said.
Sweden and South Korea – both buoyed by Germany’s shock loss – meet in the first match that kicks off at 10pm AEST.
Belgium and Panama (1am) are next up before England’s FIFA World Cup begins against Tunisia (4am) in the SBS match of the day.