Business

Jun 19, 2018

Optus drops the ball on World Cup coverage. But that’s privatisation for you.

The fiction of privatised competition was simply so diverse functions could be handed over to cartelised oligopolies.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle

Correspondent-at-large

Optus World Cup FIFA

When your streaming service is called "Fetch" and you drop the ball during the World Cup, there’s probably only one appropriate response by management. Put the CEO’s basket in the back of the car, for the trip to the vet, and then chuck the basket out the window on the way back. Fetch, fetch, one last time.

Most likely no one will suffer for it, a kludge that is simultaneously minor and major; no tragedy, it is nevertheless a basic failure in an arrangement that millions were relying on -- and an arrangement of the sort once ruled out precisely because of the risk of that failure. Sport and major events were assigned to public broadcasters, because they were the only ones with the capacity to run multiple fail-safe broadcast systems. The anti-siphoning laws in part recognised the same.

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