Spark says its streaming service will deliver for remainder of RWC

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Monday, 23 September 2019, 9:37AM
Customers were faced with constant pixelating, blurring, buffering or lost signal altogether during the match.

Spark head of sport Jeff Latch insists the telco has fixed the streaming service that failed customers during the All Black-Springboks match on Saturday - and will deliver the remaining matches for the Rugby World Cup.

Speaking to Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB this morning, Latch offered another apology from Spark to the 130,000 viewers watching the match through its streaming service.

"It wasn't match cover that we were looking to deliver. It was completely unsatisfactory, it wasn't good enough," he said.

Hosking challenged Latch on Spark's performance, saying the company had taken something inherently important culturally to New Zealand and "cocking it up" and by doing that destroying its reputation and the reputation of streaming.

He said his text machine showed people hate Spark, they think the company is incompetent and "that you promised a lot and you have delivered, to put it bluntly, shit".

Customers were faced with constant pixelating, blurring, buffering or lost signal altogether during the match, forcing Spark to screen the second half live on free-to-air TV.

Latch said Spark believed it had fixed the problem and all three matches last night played perfectly.

It was not a load issue that caused a problem, Latch said, but in the video pathway configuration in New Zealand where the volumes are tiny.

On Saturday, 25,000 new subscribers came in with 100 people signing up a minute, a lot of whom left it until the 11th hour and needed assistance getting set up, Latch said.

He could not guarantee the rest of the tournament would not be faultless with Spark's streaming service, but could guarantee the platform, network and production has tested well and been outstanding.

"We believe we are going to deliver for the next match and the other 41 matches left in the Rugby World Cup," Latch said.

If there were any problems, he said, the match would be put on to Television New Zealand's Duke channel within 40 or 45 seconds.

Latch said he would like to think if Spark delivers the remaining matches seamlessly Spark will not get a pass mark given what happened in the All Black-Springbok game but people will believe the company did a reasonable job.

Latch would not give numbers on how many people have bought packages, saying it is commercially sensitive.

Total Recall

Total Recall

6PM - 7:30PM