As Spark gears to stream NZ vs Ireland on Saturday night, the company has revealed it has fielded 17,000 help requests over the past fortnight.

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Spark Sport queries have ranged "from complex troubleshooting, to basic help such as password resets," the company said.

"Most of these customers have received the support they need over the phone or online chat, although several hundred have been assisted through an in-home visit or have received a complimentary Freeview SmartVU device as an alternative way to watch."


Spark is also urging more customers to test their inhome setup before Saturday's big game.

"Although we believe these steps have gone a long way to help many more New Zealanders get themselves match-ready for live broadband streaming, we know there are Spark Sport customers who haven't watched a RWC match over the past week or two, and we suspect some of them may still need help with their in-home technology setup.

"We expected we would help many of them for the All Blacks' match against Italy last Saturday, but unfortunately this was cancelled due to typhoon Hagibis.

"We want everyone to have a great experience on Saturday evening, and we understand that streaming live sport is a new technology which can sometimes be frustrating for people who are unfamiliar with streaming live content online."

The All Blacks-Ireland quarter-final is shaping up to be Spark Sport's biggest test.

Spark says it now has 186,000 Spark Sport subscribers (though it hasn't detailed how many are on a free deal by dint of being Spark broadband or mobile customers).

The telco says the issue with an offshore provider that forced it to simulcast its last big game - the NZ vs South Africa pool clash - on TVNZ's Duke channel from half-time have now been resolved.

A rumble of discontent continues, with 60 complaints now before the Commerce Commission and a class-action lawsuit threatened, but Spark maintains it has not suffered any further systemwide-issues since the All Black-Springbok clash.


Spark says while it does not anticipate any system-wide problems on Saturday night, if they do occur it will enable a TVNZ simulcast within minutes.

Beyond the weekend, it should be clear sailing, with both semis and the final set to screen live and free on TVNZ.