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Friday, 15 June 2018 10:03

Is Optus Sport World Cup spoilerific coverage set to be infuriating?

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More Optus frustration on the horizon?

The World Cup is here and many Australian fans, for better or worse, will be watching it on an Optus Sport app. That generally means staying up all night and watching it live or, for many people, watching the highlights of the matches first thing in the morning.

While both groups are arguably long suffering, for the latter this can be incredibly frustrating as years of English Premiership coverage have already shown: Optus cared little about spoiling the result of a match before you’ve had a chance to see it.

In the past, it’s done this by mingling the main match highlights with other brief clips whose titles give away goals scored, red cards, injuries, saves and even results.

In the UK where primary football coverage comes from Saturday evening’s (national institution) Match of The Day highlights program, the preceding Evening News announces that the scores are about to appear on screen and that those who don’t want to know the results should look away for a moment.

So has Optus extended this basic curtesy to its viewers for its World Cup coverage?

The answer is, probably not.

On the iPad app, the highlights (again) appear under the Video section but then you have to scroll down further to a “Moments” section which shows every type of spoiler you want to avoid.

optus sport world cup ipad spoiler

The opening screen on the iPad gives us some hope, but it's only been one day

optus sport world cup spoiler 2

But... scroll down a little bit and you can see the result before you've watched anything.

Meanwhile, testing on an Android phone displayed spoilers on the same opening screen as the highlights.

optus sport world cup spoiler

[SPOILER] Shots fired: Goals scored on the front page

Optus is aware of it, with senior management having openly discussed the complaints about spoilers with journalists before, but to date there has been no official response regarding dealing with them – even the plethora that exist in its App Store reviews.

With the World Cup only just starting and with multiple matches per night about to kick off, there are likely to be many stressed fans waiting to see if the company makes some effort to stop spoiling the content for which it paid such massive amounts to obtain rights.

We’ve reached out to Optus to explain its strategy or establish whether there even is one.

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Nick Ross

Nick Ross is a veteran technology journalist who has contributed to many of Australia's top technology titles and edited several of them. He was the launch editor of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation online Technology section.

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