Sport Football Optus extends World Cup simulcast deal with SBS

Optus extends World Cup simulcast deal with SBS

Australian soccer fans will be overjoyed at the prospect of all group games being screen on free-to-air TV on SBS. Photo: PA/Liewig Christian
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Optus Sport has agreed to allow SBS to simulcast more FIFA World Cup matches as complaints continue about the telco’s streaming service.

Having initially permitted SBS to screen an additional four matches to rectify the problem, Optus on Wednesday extended that permission until the end of the group matches on June 29.

SBS was originally scheduled to screen only 25 matches.

SBS special comments expert and former Socceroo Craig Foster paid tribute to the SBS staff for shouldering the extra load in Russia via Twitter.

SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said SBS was looking forward to simulcasting the “absolute pinnacle” of world football for the next 10 days.

Optus chief executive Allen Lew said the telco was confident it had fixed the problems that have plagued its streaming service so far, but it wanted to provide Australians with choice.

Optus Sport is allowing SBS to simulcast all group games. Photo: AAP

As part of the agreement, Optus Sport will refund its customers who have paid to watch the tournament, and it will be made free to all Australians until August 31.

The World Cup has been a ratings winner for SBS.

The Socceroos’ opening match against France on Saturday night attracted more than 2.1 million viewers to make it the most-watched TV show of the week and the ninth biggest of the year.

France won 2-1.

Australia next plays on Thursday at 10pm in a must-win match against Denmark, which won its opening match 1-0 against Peru.