"Human error" was to blame for a Spark Sport blunder yesterday afternoon, which saw hockey fans miss out on the first quarter of the Anzac Day clash between the Black Sticks Women and Australia.

"There was a human error at our platform provider in the US [iStreamPlanet]," Spark Sport head Jeff Latch told NewstalkZB this morning.

"What we've been told is that there was a scheduling error. There were no technical issues with the livestream."

Someone at iStreamPlanet was supposed to manually turn on the livestream but didn't realise the game had started.


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"We're working very hard to ensure it won't happen again," Latch said.

The Spark Sport boss said the new platform had to be manual at launch, but soon iStreamPlanet would automate the stream so forgetful humans would be taken out of the equation.

Latch said Spark Sport had streamed 140 events to air and "had issues with three of them. So we've done pretty well but we have to do better."

"By the time we get to the Rugby World Cup, we're confident it will work perfectly. It worked perfectly last night," Latch said - apart from that human error.

Similarly, a "process error" rather than a technical glitch was blamed for Spark Sport problems with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Latch's optimism notwithstanding, tech commentator Paul Spain says the hockey glitch "will have undermined confidence inside and outside Spark Sport."

Another commentator Paul Brislen, said it was good that Spark Sport was able to have a "dry run" with sports like hockey to shake out problems like automating its systems - but that it also offered no insight on how platform will perform when "1 million households trying to connect at once," during the World Cup, which kicks off in 147 days.


Hockey fans fumed during yesterday afternoon's streaming stuff-up.

"This is a bloody joke! And you think you're going to successfully show the RWC?? Play it on Duke then so that at least I haven't wasted my free trial for nothing," said one customer on Facebook.

But his morning, Spark Sport's Latch said fans should, "Absolutely get in and buy the Rugby World Cup," which is being offered now for an early-bird price of $60 (rising to $90 before kick-off).

The service is offering a pre-tournament refund for those who find their broadband isn't good enough, and says it will refund during the tournament under certain conditions.