Monthly Archives: April 2019

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SBS to show World Cup for next 48 hours

Optus has agreed to let SBS broadcast all World Cup games through until Wednesday.Optus has agreed to let SBS broadcast all World Cup games until Wednesday as it urgently seeks to resolve the streaming saga, which has already prompted the intervention of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
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SBS onsold broadcast rights for most World Cup games to Optus Sport, with Fairfax Media reporting that deal was worth approximately $8 million.

It threatens to cost the telco much more in reputation damage, with technical issues – causing poor-quality match footage or no vision at all – having plagued its broadcast of the tournament’s opening weekend.

Many football fans, including those who signed up for a $15 package specifically to watch World Cup games, are furious because they’ve been unable to access the Optus broadcast.

Optus chief executive Allen Lew apologised “unreservedly to all Australians” on Sunday, but there were further issues that night.

SBS confirmed on Monday night it will air all World Cup games for the next 48 hours following talks with Optus, with Lew saying sorry once again.

“There’s no doubt this had adversely affected the Optus brand … everybody is very disappointed, to put it mildly,” Lew told reporters on Monday night.

The situation, which is being monitored with interest by many sporting bodies in Australia given streaming is widely considered the future of broadcasting live sport, has already attracted the interest of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

“We are seeking further information from Optus on what steps it is taking to comply with the Australian Consumer Law,” an ACCC spokesperson said.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law, services must be fit for the purpose and deliver on what was promised.

“Consumers impacted by the streaming problems are advised to contact the service provider directly.”

Optus offered disgruntled customers a free ‘Fetch’ set-top box on Monday. However, this created more angst as some users reported difficulties collecting these units from local stores.

Optus insists its stores will be restocked regularly this week.

Industry sources told AAP it’s likely the provider spectacularly underestimated demand for the service.

“We obviously did not (anticipate demand),” Lew said.

“We will take full responsibility.”

Demand is likely to grow as the tournament unfolds; Optus has exclusive rights to broadcast some quarter-finals and round-of-16 games.

Aside from issues during live matches, some users have complained about difficulties in accessing highlight packages and replays on demand.

“Optus states the number of people affected are less than five per cent of their viewerships,” SBS chief executive Michael Ebeid said, having consulted the telco.

The World Cup is on the nation’s anti-siphoning list, but only the final and matches involving Australia.

Ebeid cited 2014 budget cuts as part of the reason his network, Australia’s World Cup broadcaster for the past 32 years, signed the Optus deal.

“It enabled us to retain the World Cup, where we may not have been able to afford to do it on our own,” Ebeid told radio station SEN.

“SBS is very limited in things like its advertising revenue.”

Australian Associated Press

Risdon Prison guard’s punched, kicked during ‘sickening’ attack

Risdon An attack on five prison guards in Tasmania has been described as “sickening” and “premeditated”.
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The officerswere taken to hospital after maximum security prisoners allegedly punched and kicked them after being let out of their cells on Monday.

Risdon Prison went into lockdownafter the incident, with some of the officers suffering “quite serious injuries”.

Community and Public Sector Union state secretaryTom Lynch said at least one staff member had suffered a broken bone that would require surgery.

“We are talking about serious, criminal assault,” he said. “I find it quite sickening, there is no excuse.”

Tasmania Police was called to the prison and is now investigating the attack.

Mr Lynch said it was not the first time correctional officers had been subjected to violence at Risdon Prison.

RELATED:Risdon Prison fight disrupts Launceston Supreme Court

“We have had bad incidents in the past, but things have been reasonably good for a while,” he said.

“The response from the prison has been excellent, they made sure the unit was secured and brought in the tactical response group to make sure there was no further violence.

“We were pleased to hear police were there and charges will be laid, there will be repercussions.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed the incident had been “initiated by a non-compliant prisoner”.

“Five Tasmania Prison Service staff were taken to hospital as a precaution,” they said.

“The incident was quickly resolved and the prison has returned to normal operations.”

The union plans to discuss the incident further with the department.

“This needs to be taken very seriously,” Mr Lynch said.

“There are learnings from this, about the way the unit operates. Maybe there needs to be more officers or fewer inmates out of their cells at that particular unit.

“I really hope Tasmania understands what a difficult job this is and why these people need to be admired for being able to go back to a workplace and face thesesituations. And then there is the families of these people, who are very worried about their loved ones going back to work.”

Guards at the prison do not carry weapons, he said.

“Some of them carry some sort of equipment, like capsicum spray, but they are vulnerable,”Mr Lynch said.

RELATED STORIES:

Risdon Prison inmates “refuse” to go back into cells

Tasmania’s Risdon Prison riot could have been avoided, stakeholders say

The Examiner

Family helps Deledio cope with AFL injury

GWS star Brett Deledio hopes to return in round 17 or 18 after suffering a calf injury last month.Family matters – good and tragic – have given Brett Deledio perspective in the wake of his latest AFL injury setback.
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The GWS star hopes to return in round 17 against his old club Richmond after suffering another calf muscle injury.

Persistent calf and Achilles injuries last year meant he played only seven games after moving from the Tigers.

He was buoyed after showing strong form in the opening six rounds this season, but then a hamstring injury and the current calf problem in his left leg stopped Deledio in his tracks.

While Deledio says this latest setback initially flattened him, his children are a constant reminder of what is important.

Earlier this month, Deledio and his family also went through the death of a nephew.

“I haven’t had a lot of time to think about it … we had quite a few things going on in the family,” he told Fox Footy.

“You certainly do stress about these sorts of things, but you walk in the door and your kids give you a huge smile.

“You realise things aren’t so bad in the scheme of things.”

Immediately after the calf injury, Deledio’s daughter was a great help.

“It really knocked me about a bit, but I got a cuddle from my little girl and she told me everything was going to be alright – because I was a bit upset about it at the time,” he said.

“She certainly put a smile on my face.

“All things considered, with what my family has been through in the last six months, it’s not too bad to just have a little calf injury.

“I’m just very grateful my family is healthy and we’re living and breathing, enjoying every day.”

Deledio said this latest injury also took him by surprise, because he had done a lot of work on his fitness over the off-season and he was back playing solid football.

But he never considered retirement.

“It never crossed my mind. I still have another contract for next year, so I’m going to give it absolutely everything to make sure I’m ready and raring to go if Leon (coach Leon Cameron) needs me,” he said.

Deledio is also bullish about the Giants’ chances this season as they return from the bye for Saturday’s away match against Brisbane.

GWS have won their last two games and are half a game outside the top eight, with several frontline players set to return and ease their heavy injury toll.

“If we can get everyone humming come the end of the season and make the finals, I think we can give it a real shake, for sure,” he said.

Australian Associated Press

Arzani eyes World Cup start against Danes

Teenager Daniel Arzani has put his hand up to start in Australia’s World Cup clash with Denmark.Socceroos teenager Daniel Arzani has moved to dispel doubts over his staying power, putting his hand up for a World Cup start against Denmark on Thursday.
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The second-up clash for Australia in Russia could make or break the Socceroos’ tournament.

Win, and their fate is in their hands heading into the last match with Peru.

Draw, and a narrow pathway should remain open to get out of the group.

Lose, and it’s curtains.

Until now, Arzani has been widely regarded as an impact player best suited coming off the bench.

On the eve of Australia’s opening loss to France, Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk said the 19-year-old was “not capable at this level to play a whole game”.

But the confident Melbourne City winger believes differently, and that he’s proved as much in the hot-weather preparation the team undertook in Turkey over the last month.

“I feel like I’m ready,” he said.

“Especially given the intensive training camp in Antalya where we were training two times a day on most days.

“I’ve given myself the best opportunity.

“I’ve tried my hardest and that’s all you can do. It’s just up to the boss now.”

Arzani came on in the 84th minute against France, replacing Robbie Kruse, and taking it up to the tired French legs with his pace and trickery.

And he thinks a more attacking approach will be needed against the Danes, given Australia’s inability to create chances from open play.

“Definitely if you’re going into a game and it’s a must-win the only logical solution is to make sure you’re attacking more and creating more chances,” Arzani said.

Australia’s goal came from Mile Jedinak’s penalty following Samuel Umtiti’s handball.

Arzani said he was filled with pride in his World Cup debut, becoming the youngest Australian to play in a World Cup.

“The biggest moment for me was at the beginning of the game,” he said.

“Looking around, seeing Aussie fans in yellow shirts everywhere. Singing the national anthem.

“Your heart is absolutely pumping through your chest and you realise the gravity of the situation, you’re representing a whole nation on the biggest stage.

“It is emotional.”

With the goosebumps out of the way, Arzani said he didn’t feel overawed when he took the field against the highly-rated French.

“It wasn’t anything crazy or something I couldn’t handle,” he said.

“This is what I’ve wanted to do for so long.

“I just want to be me, I just want to do the best that I can.

“Some people think that’s me being cocky but I’m just happy being me.”

Australian Associated Press

Time runs out for RU sevens star Stannard

James Stannard has called time on his sevens rugby career, ending his World Cup farewell plans.Time ran out for Australian rugby sevens stalwart James Stannard but he leaves the program convinced it’s in better shape than when he started playing.
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Former Australian sevens captain Stannard says he will make a full recovery from injuries he suffered in an assault last March, which ruled him out of the Commonwealth Games.

But he says there’s no way he would have been able to make his swan song at next month’s World Cup in San Francisco.

Stannard had planned to retire after that tournament, but brought that forward after failing to fully recover in time from the incident that left him with a fractured skull and forced him out of the Commonwealth Games.

“I was doing a bit of training, trying to get back for World Cup and the boys were away at the time and I started doing a bit of contact and upping the ante,” Stannard said.

“I just started getting a bit light-headed and a few headaches.

“I just thought at that time, if I can’t get through this light sort of training, there’s no way in the world I can get through a tournament.

“It was a tough decision but an easy one because I can live with it knowing that I’ve given everything I can.”

“My health comes before anything and my family.”

Dual Commonwealth Games medallist Stannard has been a stalwart of the squad for the best part of a decade.

“I just wanted to come into the program and leave it better than what it was when I came in,” he said.

“It has done that, not just from what I’ve done, it’s from how the program has progressed over the years.

“We came in a week before we went away on tours and now it’s centralised and we’ve got contracts and people are making a living out of it.”

He pointed to how several players had graduated from the sevens program to the Wallabies, including Bernard Foley and Nick Phipps.

The man affectionately known as “Chucky” is Australia’s all-time leading international sevens pointscorer.

He’s optimistic about Australia’s prospects under recently appointed coach Tim Walsh, the mentor of the 2016 women’s Olympic gold medal winning squad.

“We’re going to go well. We’ve got some good young talent there, Walshy has got a great brain for the game,” Stannard said.

Australian Associated Press