Monday, August 15, 2016

Optus Out: EPL fans rage after football streaming service hits technical faults

When Optus shocked the Australian sporting landscape by buying the rights for the English Premier League, outbidding Foxtel three-to-one, there were murmurs of discontent within the football fraternity.

Those murmurs grew to howls of disapproval after Optus released their packages and plans, which required an Optus broadband or mobile plan to watch the EPL. Needless to say, fans were not happy about being railroaded into joining the network.

Football fans went ballistic on Twitter after streams of the games were reported intermittently cutting out, showing poor-quality images and suffering delays.

The hashtag #OptusOut began trending as the worst of the problems occurred during Sunday night's games of Manchester United v Bournemouth and Arsenal v Liverpool.

The "live" feed of the games was reportedly delayed by as much as 60 seconds.

An Optus spokeswoman said the disruption was caused by the Premier League satellite service, not the Optus network.

"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.

"The issue was not related to an Optus mobile or fixed broadband network outage, or the Optus Sport App.

"As soon as Optus became aware of the issue, we switched to an alternative feed. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused and appreciate their patience while the broadcast was restored."

The delays in the telecast are "consistent with the viewing experience on other web-based or App content services currently operating in Australia," the spokeswoman confirmed.

Fans who had set up notifications from their clubs on their phones had key moments ruined by the delay.

Foxtel had set a high bar over the years with their EPL coverage, but in their first attempt at wresting the throne away from the pay TV giant it would seem Optus failed miserably.

The Optus coverage costs a minimum of $30 a month for a mobile sim plan, without a phone. Fans would then need to fork out an extra $5 a month for a Fetch TV box to broadcast the Premier League, or use an Apple TV device if they have one.

Optus recommend customers experiencing difficulties contact them directly via their social media channels or 24/7 technical support on 131 344 for trouble shooting advice.