Optus’ English Premier League coverage needed a flawless first weekend to silence its many critics, and it failed miserably.
After securing the broadcast rights in November last year for $189m (or one-and-a-bit Paul Pogbas) the telco provider’s new Optus Sport app had its first real test this weekend, and it was far from perfect.
Many tuned in to watch Hull take on reigning champions Leicester, just to have the scores spoiled by social media, because the Optus stream ran almost a minute behind while claiming to be ‘live’.
On match day two, when Manchester United traveled to Bournemouth, the coverage was still behind real time – a disastrous issue when it comes to live sport with global attention – and it only became worse from there.
“Optus can confirm that there was a 30 second transmission disruption during the broadcast of last night’s Premier League match between Bournemouth vs Manchester United. We have been advised by the Premier League that the disruption was caused by their satellite distribution supplier,” Optus said via a statement to THE TURF.
Football fans all over Australia suffered through many frozen screens and apologetic messages from Optus for the faltering streams, inspiring a tirade of social media abuse.
Optus responded to these claims stating; “The technology used to deliver ‘over-the-top’ content via broadband and mobile networks is slightly slower than traditional terrestrial and satellite broadcasting. This is consistent with the viewing experience on other web-based or App content services currently operating in Australia.”
#OptusOut was trending in Melbourne during the first half of Sunday’s first game. When the connection was lost completely at half time, Aussie twitter users let loose.
— Damian #OptusOUT (@SimplySuarez) August 14, 2016
— Harrison (@planet_harrison) August 14, 2016
Pogba for £100 million is a bargain when you compare it to what Optus charge for their terrible PL coverage #OptusOUT
— Sagna Boy (@SagnaBoy) August 14, 2016
Zlatan's goal sounded amazing #OptusOut
— Andrew Mc Sweeney (@Andrewmcsweene1) August 14, 2016
It appears that the onus is now upon Optus to improve its services or continue to be met with dissatisfaction from Australian football fans.
With streams more unreliable than Simon Mignolet’s hands, change is needed, and needed fast.