Home Entertainment World Cup streaming woes termed a Turnbull own goal

World Cup streaming woes termed a Turnbull own goal

World Cup streaming woes termed a Turnbull own goal Featured

The World Cup football streaming disaster could have been avoided had SBS been broadcasting the tournament in full as in the past, the Australian Labor Party claims, adding that the public broadcaster could not bid for full rights due to funding cuts by the Federal Government.

Labor Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland and Deputy Opposition Senate leader Don Farrell said in a joint statement that SBS chief Michael Ebeid had blamed budget cuts for having to undertake a joint licensing deal with Optus.

Optus' coverage has been less than optimal over the first few nights and the telco has been finally forced to ask SBS to take over for a few nights to ensure that fans can feed their hunger for football.

The company has apologised for the problems with the coverage which are said to have been caused due to its inability to anticipate the degree of demand. Smartphone and tablet users have been the worst affected.

Local interest in the tournament rose sharply on Saturday night when Australia played France. On Thursday, a similar spike is expected when the Socceroos take on Denmark in a match that would decide Australia's further participation in the tournament.

Rowland and Farrell quoted Ebeid as telling the SEN radio network on Monday: "“At the end of the day, it does come down to finances. Our revenues have been going down. We’ve had about $40 million in reductions in our government funding.”

They said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's criticism of Optus would be "laughable" were it not for the fact that millions of Australian football fans had been "left crying over a mess that he has created".

"Instead of listening and ensuring Australians could watch the 2018 World Cup on SBS, Malcolm Turnbull cut millions of dollars of funding from SBS in 2014 and again in 2015," the Labor pair said.

"As communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull ignored warnings that funding cuts would threaten the ability of SBS to fully cover future World Cups.

"This is the government’s fault and the blame lies squarely at the feet of Malcolm Turnbull."

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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