SBS CEO Michael Ebeid has said SBS may need to reach out to Optus and offer a helping hand if the telco’s World Cup streaming continues to have issues.
The partly government-funded broadcaster, who have had the World Cup for decades, on-sold most of their games to Optus Sport.
SBS kept rights to 25 games, including all Socceroos matches, the tournament opener, half of the Round of 16 and quarter-finals, as well as every match from the semi-final stage onwards.
But the matches exclusively available to Optus have ran into major problems so far, with mass network outage problems for customers, who are struggling to watch the biggest sporting event on the planet.
Speaking on Melbourne-based radio station SEN this morning, Ebeid said SBS may need to get involved with the streaming, potentially bringing games to their channels.
“I totally acknowledge for some people it hasn’t been the best experience,” Ebeid said.
“For all the games SBS has got, make sure you watch it on one of our platforms and if you are having any issues, go through the SBS app and hopefully that fixes the issue.
“I think if Optus continues to have problems, then we might have a conversation about how we can help them further in terms of putting some of those games on our channels.
“We are able and willing to do that.”
Ebeid went onto tell listeners the conversation may need to happen in the next 24 hours if Optus aren’t confident they have fixed the issues.
“It depends on Optus’ confidence levels in having fixed the problem,” he said.
“Maybe even 24 hours, I think they’ll need to take a good hard look at where they’re at with fixing the problem.”
It comes hot on the heels of another disastrous night for SBS, with many missing the entirety of the 10pm (AEST) game yesterday between Serbia and Costa Rica, with the Serbs taking a crucial 1-0 victory.
Optus CEO Allan Lew told the media yesterday Optus would have the problems rectified by last night – to no avail though, leaving customers frustrated.
“I apologise unreservedly to all Australians,” he told Fairfax Media on Sunday afternoon.
“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. We will solve this problem by the end of this evening.
The World Cup continues this evening with Sweden versus South Korea at 10pm (AEST). Belgium will then take on Panama at 1am (AEST), before the day concludes at 4am (AEST) with Tunisia playing England. SBS will broadcast the English game.