Spark Sport has responded after having yet more streaming problems during Wales' 29-25 Rugby World Cup victory over Australia last night.

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Spark pins blame on TVNZ for Australia-Wales audio woes

The company was slammed by thousands of customers online after myriad problems struck its broadcast.

As the broadcast began, there were problems during the national anthems, with sound cutting out during the Welsh anthem, while talking could be heard in the background as well.


Fans were then treated to two commentaries played simultaneously to begin the clash. As Spark's main caller Scotty Stevenson made his introduction, fans also heard a Welsh voice over the top of him, with the host nation's commentary also being broadcast at the same time.

The problems didn't stop there. While the dual-commentary issues were fixed as the game got underway, some users were still having problems with audio being delayed, while Spark also seemingly lost pictures at one point, with multiple replays of an early Dan Biggar drop goal being played while Stevenson was commentating live action.

After the game, Spark explained the blunders, pushing the blame for the early audio problems onto TVNZ, though not explaining the issues later in the game.

"As previously commented on by TVNZ, at the beginning of the Australia vs Wales game there were some production issues with the audio feed from TVNZ during the first few minutes of the match," the company said in a statement.

"However these issues were quickly resolved."

Spark said it served 115,000 simultaneous streams - its most since the 132,000 peak during the All Blacks-South Africa clash, where a major streaming issue forced Spark to simulcast the game on TVNZ's Duke channel from halftime.

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On its social media feeds, Spark was also advising a number of fans whose smart TV pictures had frozen to try a "hard reboot at the wall" (in English, to unplug the power, wait a few minutes then plug it back in).


There also appeared to be audio issues with the night's second game.

"The app says 'this event has ended,' while the Georgia vs Uruguay game has 15 mins left. I am able to listen to it on the audio feed option," Queenstown Spark Sport subscriber Paddy Baxter told the Herald.

Spark's free-to-air partner TVNZ is also handling most of the production effort, with delayed broadcast viewers and Spark Sport subscribers seeing the same TVNZ-produced package.

The problems came after Spark Sport's boss had promised customers the telco will deliver the remaining matches for the Rugby World Cup.

Many viewers encountered pixelating, blurring, buffering or lost signal during the All Blacks' win over the Springboks, after which Jeff Latch had claimed there would be few issues covering future games.

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