Earlier this month, after some fans complained about what they thought was degraded video quality, Spark Sport admitted it had downgraded its video stream from 60 frames per second to 30 frames per second.

The rationale was that the lower video quality was less likely to cause grief on older laptops, and older models of Google's Chromecast widget - which is used to stream pictures from a computer, phone or laptop to a TV.

But some users howled about the move on social media - and it was a bad look given that Sky was able to launch its upgraded Spark Sport Now app at 60fps.

But this afternoon comes some good news for Spark Sport subs.


The service will be returned to 60fps at full high definition (1080p HD) within a week, Spark Sport head Jeff Latch says.

The increase in video quality - or return to top quality - will come in part from Spark putting more grunt behind its service (the bit rate will increase to up to 7 megabits per second from the previous top bit rate of 6Mb/s, if your internet connection can take - most should be able to).

Spark has also tweaked its service so it can better auto-detect the best quality video for any given connection and device.

Spark Sport strikes out with LG TVs

In a less positive development, Latch said Spark Sport will not now be available on LG TVs before the Rugby World Cup.

"Spark Sport will soon launch on 2019 LG TVs. However, despite extensive collaboration between Spark Sport app development and the device manufacturer, the Spark Sport app experiences significant issues playing on 2017 and 2018 LG TVs, so the app will not be made available on these devices before the Rugby World Cup," Latch said.

"People with older LG TVs can still watch Spark Sport on their existing TV, by using a streaming device such as an Apple TV, a Google Chromecast or a Freeview Smart VU. This is the same situation as pre-2017 models of Samsung TVs, Sony TVs and Panasonic TVs and any model of smart TV that are not one of the four brands that Spark Sport supports."

AB's announcement lag

Spark also copped some flak over the delay on its livestream of the All Blacks' World Cup squad announcement at midday today, with one viewer pinning the lag at 90 seconds.

A Spark Sport spokeswoman said, "There is always a delay between live-action and streaming broadcast, due to the time it take to convert video to an internet-ready format for playback across a range of devices. We expect to see delays of between 20 and 40 seconds on live broadcast – and the team assure me that this was proven out today."


Latch earlier said there would be a delay of up to 60 seconds for Spark Sport's live Rugby World Cup stream - a gap long enough for spoilers on social media, radio or liveblogs.

First clean sheet

Meanwhile, Spark Sport stuffed out with a key English Premier league game on the opening weekend of the season (Manchester City vs West Ham) and had problems on the second weekend with the Arsenal-Burnley clash.

But for the third weekend, the service reported no problems, and all was relatively quiet on its social feeds.