COMMENT: In the immediate aftermath of Spark Sport's slip-up during the fixture between New Zealand and South Africa, we saw Spark's team go on an apology tour, admitting the performance of the service simply wasn't good enough.
The willingness of Spark Sport boss Jeff Latch and new chief executive Jolie Hodson to front seemed at first a rare example of corporate humility – a company willing to acknowledge that it had made a big mistake.
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How things have shifted from these humble beginnings.
What we've seen since from the company since is a level of corporate sidestepping that even Anton Lienert-Brown would be proud of.
It started with the company passing the buck to its international partner Akamai for the glitches during the South Africa game.
Then, when the audio went south during the match between Australia and Wales, the blame was heaped on local production partner TVNZ.
This isn't entirely new for Spark, with the company becoming quite adept at the blame game well before the Rugby World Cup kicked off.
Human error was to blame during a Black Sticks game, a satellite glitch during an English Premier League stream and an international provider was the culprit in the second-half of the U20 match between Scotland and New Zealand.
Spark's latest trick brings the blame a little closer to home, with the company now shifting blame to their Kiwi customer base.
"All of our technical performance metrics are tracking well and the vast majority of our customers are having a good viewing experience," Spark claimed last night as more angry customers took to social media to complain about glitches. Even TVNZ star Hilary Barry was on Twitter complaining last night.
"There continues to be a minority of customers with device and set-up issues in their homes," Spark Sport said in response.
"It is important to note that these are not related to Spark Sport platform performance and we encourage these customers to reach out to us so we can individually troubleshoot their issues with them."
In other words, it's important to note that Spark is not to blame; it's those technologically challenged Kiwis who simply can't get the perfect stream flowing. So much for the customer having the benefit of the doubt.
Of course, every company has the right to explain what has gone wrong - but this all just feels a bit like Spark refuses to admit that it hasn't delivered the experience it said it would.
A classic cliché in the marketing world is that a brand is a promise, and Spark has broken the only promise it made to Kiwis.
It doesn't matter, who's to blame. All that Kiwis are worried about is whether they can or can't watch the rugby.
And even when they have been able to, it's rarely been at the quality we've come to expect through a satellite feed. Technology is, after all, supposed to make things better, not worse.
As former All Black Craig Innes so succinctly said: "It would appear they have peddled to the NZ sporting public an inferior product."
The common denominator under the technology, production and streaming partners is Spark. None of them would have been involved in any of this had Spark not promised to change the face of rugby broadcasting in this country. To now blame the series of mishaps on these partners does seem a little unfair.
The entire approach is perhaps best exemplified by Twitter activities of former Spark managing director Simon Moutter.
A prolific Twitter user, Moutter was quick to jump on the platform and celebrate how well things were going during the match between Australia and Fiji. But he has said nothing about Spark Sport or the Rugby World Cup on Twitter since that early success.
The point here is that you can't have it both ways. You can't claim all the glory when things go brilliantly, only to deny responsibility when things go wrong.
No matter who's to blame in all this, the bottom line is that Spark made a promise that it didn't keep.