Optus apologises for failure with free World Cup coverage

In light of massive coverage crashes over the weekend, Optus Sport will be free for all Australians to watch the 2018 World Cup with the group stages also being simulcast over SBS.

Following a series of coverage failures over the weekend, Optus CEO Allen Lew has announced that “as a gesture of goodwill” Optus will be simulcasting every game of the 2018 World Cup group stages with SBS. Additionally, Optus Sport will become free for all Australians until 31 August, with customers who did purchase the $14.99 coverage package receiving a full refund.

“I offer an unreserved apology to those customers that have been let down,” said Lew in a statement on 18 June. “We are confident that we have a solution in place and will be using this time to undertake robust testing of all systems.”

Optus came in 36th in this year’s Reptrak survey, measuring the Australian public’s attitude toward brands, the company saw a five place improvement from the year before.

Under the current agreement with SBS, Optus will maintain its exclusive rights to some of the group-16 and finals matches.

Over the weekend, #optusfail trended on Australian social media, angry fans called for the rest of the tournament’s coverage to be played free-to-air.


Lew continues, “Since Monday, Optus has delivered the last six matches without issue. This has provided the confidence we needed to reassure the Australian public that we have addressed these issues and that our efforts have worked.

“This reaffirms that our strategy to deliver quality content to customers is the right one. I have conviction in our content strategy and Optus will not waiver from our pursuit of this strategy.”

Lew says the company’s focus in the short term will shift to the restoration of trust with its customers. Opening its group stages coverage being the first in a series of brand rehabilitation moves, the free Optus Sport period will also allow fans to watch the opening matches of the English Premier League.

“We appreciate customers have given us another go and invite those to tune in for tonight’s games,” closed Lew

 

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Image copyrightRob Bye

Josh Loh
BY Josh Loh ON 21 June 2018
Josh Loh is assistant editor at MarketingMag.com.au