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Thousands of football fans were left screaming at their screens for the wrong reason this weekend as Optus's streaming service failed to show World Cup matches.

Optus chief executive Allen Lew apologised for the problems on Sunday afternoon, but hours later the technical issues persisted.

On Monday night Optus announced that all World Cup games would be simulcast on free-to-air SBS for two days while it worked to fix the service.

"We have a dedicated team that have been working around the clock to attend to the technical issues," Mr Lew said.

That clock will run out on Wednesday night.

What's the problem with Optus?

Technology commentator Trevor Long told ABC News Radio the "systemic" problem was to do with the design of the Optus streaming network — not its mobile or internet network.

"There's no effect on customers who aren't interested in the World Cup," Mr Long said.

"But if you are looking for the World Cup and you've signed up to this Optus sport package, the way they've designed their network to deliver that television to mobiles phones, tablets and screens around Australia has failed."

External Link: Optus Sport tweet: For those users currently experiencing technical difficulties on Optus Sport, please enter your details into the 2018 FIFA World Cup app to watch the Costa Rica-Serbia game while our tech teams work to fix the problem.

The Optus chief executive blamed the technical issues on "unprecedented demand".

Mr Long said that excuse was "a little bit gobsmacking".

"It is the biggest sporting event in the world and anyone could have checked previous TV ratings to see how many people would tune in," he said.

Mr Long said Optus probably thought it had the technological capabilities to deliver the World Cup, as it had been testing the streaming network for over a year with the English Premier League.

"As crazy as this sounds, I don't believe they realised how big the FIFA World Cup demand would be."

Can Optus fix it in time?

In a statement issued when Optus called on SBS for help, the telco's chief executive Allen Lew said he was "confident that we have a solution in place".

Mr Long thinks not.

"I think it's a big call to be able to make such a radical change in such a big space of time," he said.

"I spoke to the SBS managing director and he said they stand ready to help Optus further, which says to me they're ready to broadcast the whole World Cup if Optus can't get their act together."

External Link: SBS Australia tweet: Optus and SBS have agreed that SBS can televise all FIFA World Cup games for the next 48 hours, giving all Australians the chance to enjoy the tournament.

SBS holds the rights to this and the next World Cup.

It sold part of those rights to Optus so the telco could broadcast all 64 games of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, leaving the free-to-air broadcaster only able to show Australia's group matches, a small handful of other group games and a selection of the knockout fixtures.

Optus's streaming service costs users $15 a month — a fact not lost on consumers as they tried and failed to tune in to the telco's first exclusive match of the tournament.

"If you've paid $15 for this service and it's failed on you, you've got every right to be angry," Mr Long said.

Is #Floptus the new Vodafail?

It took years for Vodafone to shake off the damage done to its brand after its mobile network kept crashing in 2010.

The situation was made worse by the lack of support offered to frustrated customers.

One disgruntled individual even set up a 'Vodafail' website that collated complaints and media coverage of the PR disaster.

External Link: Tweet Anthony De Ceglie Daily Telegraph front page

Mr Long said the World Cup streaming problems was causing massive damage to Optus's brand even though its core network, mobile, was not broken.

"I think Optus's sporting streaming, broadcast reputation will be tarnished for a very long time," Mr Long said.

External Link: Tweet Floptus tweet External Link: Tweet Floptus2

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