SBS To Show All Remaining FIFA World Cup Games

Optus cedes rights to all further games to public broadcaster.

Public broadcaster SBS will show all remaining games of the FIFA World Cup, after Optus agreed to allow simulcast of the matches.

Optus had rights to broadcast the majority of the World Cup through its Sport app but gradually ceded more and more games to SBS following well-documented streaming issues and dropouts.

The telco did not reveal on Thursday why SBS would take up more games, with boss Allen Lew saying the company was "confident" the tech issues had been sorted.

“We had technical issues with the Optus Sport service over the first weekend of the tournament but we are confident that these issues have now been addressed," Lew said in a statement.

"All of us at Optus will use what we have learned from this experience to place ourselves ahead in the delivery of content to customers via streaming to their mobile devices."

SBS had originally only had access to broadcast one of the three daily games in the group stages of the tournament, with the remaining games to be shown exclusively on the Optus Sport app, which had a $14.95 monthly fee. However, after continual issues with the streaming service, Optus granted access for SBS to show all games for part of the group stage; further issues then saw SBS allowed to show all group games.

Optus also refunded app fees already paid, and made access to the Sport app free for all customers until August.

The broadcaster said it was originally only going to broadcast four of the right round-of-16 games and two of the four quarter finals, as well as both semi-finals, the third-place playoff, and the final. However, SBS will now show all finals games after the Optus agreement.

SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said eight millions Australians had tuned into the public channel's coverage of the tournament so far.

"We’re pleased to be able to simulcast more of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ matches with Optus," he said.

Lew admitted Optus had experienced issues in its broadcast, but said the company would continue using the Sport app.

"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," he said.

“Optus will continue to innovate and not waiver from our strategy of being a provider of premium content and the home of elite football in Australia.”

More to come.