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Thursday, 21 June 2018 06:16

If Optus Sport is free, does that mean the content is free too?

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What did Optus chief executive Allan Lew mean when he announced on Wednesday that Optus Sport would be free to all Australians until 31 August? Did he mean that the content would be free?

That's the obvious inference that I, at least, drew from the pronouncement that Lew, seeking to regain customer confidence, made at 5pm.

But none of the content present within the Optus Sport Android app seems to be free.

optus lew

Note the time on the announcement.

Even Wednesday night's matches and the video clips from those games — put online well after Lew's announcement — are all locked up.

When one tries to view them, the only thing that comes up is an invitation to subscribe to Optus Sport Premium (see screenshot below) and pay $14.99 to do so.

In the same statement in which Lew made this momentous announcement, the last paragraph reads, in part: "Any customer who has purchased or does purchase an Optus Sport subscription for the World Cup will be provided a refund."

optus sport

That seems to indicate that World Cup content is from now on free until the end of the month.

Was Lew indulging in sleight of hand by not specifically mentioning that content on Optus Sport would be free but that Australians would have the privilege of downloading the app for nothing?

Perhaps Optus, which has earned itself a new hashtag. #Floptus, as a result of the issues it has had streaming the games from the World Cup, should clarify what it means by "free".

One can only hope that this word has not been used in the same way that telcos have used the word "unlimited" in the past.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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