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FIFA World Cup 2018: Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull intervenes after repeated glitches in match broadcasts

Sydney: Australia’s prime minister intervened on behalf of angry soccer fans on Monday after a series of technical glitches marred viewing of the 2018 World Cup from Russia for a third time.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull personally intervened after disruptions in live streaming of World Cup matches occurred repeatedly. Reuters

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull personally intervened after disruptions in live streaming of World Cup matches occurred repeatedly. Reuters

Malcolm Turnbull tweeted that he had spoken to Allen Lew, chief executive of Singapore Telecommunications’ Optus, which has exclusive rights in Australia to stream the month-long tournament. “He assures me he is giving the World Cup streaming problems his personal attention and he believes it will be fixed this evening,” Turnbull said.

Australia’s sport-mad fans were left fuming following disruptions during Costa Rica’s match against Serbia on Sunday. There were issues on the opening night of the tournament too. The barrage of complaints prompted Lew to apologise. “We should have done better, we can do better and we will do better,” Lew said on Twitter.

Speaking later to reporters on a conference call, Lew said TV channel SBS would simulcast the next six World Cup matches through Wednesday morning while Optus worked to resolve the streaming problem. Though Optus has exclusive rights to the entire tournament, free-to-air SBS is screening all team Australia games, plus some select matches.

Turnbull has stepped into other sports-related controversies previously, demanding quick action from Cricket Australia after a ball-tampering scandal in March.

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Updated Date: Jun 18, 2018 16:33 PM

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