In a statement, Optus chief executive Allen Lew said customers were the main reason for this decision. The company is believed to have paid something in the region of $9 million to show the entire World Cup.
Optus do you mind on giving up your rights now for the EPL? Just asking on behalf of the Aus population x— Zoe H (@zoehara5) 28 June 2018
“We had technical issues with the Optus Sport service over the first weekend of the tournament but we are confident that these issues have now been addressed," Lew said.
"All of us at Optus will use what we have learned from this experience to place ourselves ahead in the delivery of content to customers via streaming to their mobile devices."
I hope now that SBS will also be broadcasting all the World Cup games that my Optus Sport coverage will be smooth and clear, as I'll be the only one on the network.— Great Sage (@Mr2046) 28 June 2018
But on 19 June, Optus said that SBS would simulcast games over the next two nights, due to technical difficulties it had faced.
The next day, Optus was forced to ask SBS to simulcast the remaining group games as well.
Optus is allowing SBS to telecast all remaining World cup soccer matches .. nice little deal by SBS .. sell em and get em back for no charge— Tony Tardio (@tonytardio) 28 June 2018
Lew said when entering new broadcast territory, opportunities were as big as the risks.
“Optus will continue to innovate and not waiver from our strategy of being a provider of premium content and the home of elite football in Australia," he said.
Despite the World Cup simulcast arrangement, Australians had continued to tune into Optus Sport and subscriber numbers had continued to rise, Lew claimed.
The last group matches, pitting England against Belgium and Panama against Tunisia, both in Group G, are scheduled to be played at 4am AEST on Friday. The round of 16 is set to start on 1 July.
Optus has offered refunds to all those who paid the $15 monthly fee it had charged for its World Cup coverage.
It has also made its Optus Sport service free to all Australians until 31 August.