Spark Sport app won't deliver Rugby World Cup coverage to some TVs

Spark Sport's All Black coverage started today and the company says streaming the World Cup will go off without a hitch.

That's despite concern from some fans who say it won't work on their televisions, or that the picture quality is unwatchable.

Temuka's Ian Coles is a mad rugby fan. It's been a big part of his life.

"Mackenzie rugby club. I was president there, played all my rugby there," he told Newshub. 

Coles can't wait for the World Cup in a few weeks. The only problem is he can't watch it at home.

"It's bloody annoying. Put it that way," he said. 

Coles and his friends are in the same boat. They purchased Spark Sport ahead of time for the rugby.

The problem is their rural internet is too slow to stream it.

Coles now has the option to wait for delayed coverage on TV or going to the pub.

"You know 10 or 11pm, I don't want to go down to the hotel, I'm over 70 now… there was a time when I lived there," he said. 

Coles is not the only one having troubles.

Steve Browne in Palmerston North has an LG TV to watch matches.

"At my age the big screen is very helpful and I think a lot of other sports fans would prefer to watch it on the big screen," he says.  

He has since learned Spark Sport's app won't work on his TV.

"It seems to me that they just don't have the expertise to deliver what they promised," Browne says. 

Although it might seem more issues are starting to crop up with Spark Sport, the team at their headquarters insists everything is under control.

It has now admitted though its app won't work on those 2017, and 2018 LG TVs. It's the same story for owners of Samsung, Sony and Panasonic TVs made before 2017.

But it says customers can still use Apple TV, Chromecast or Freeview SmartVU to stream on these TVs. 

As for internet speeds, it's encouraging fans to test now, before matches start.

"You've got to take some responsibility to get your house set up now, we can help you with those," Head of Spark Sport Jeff Latch says. 

From today Spark Sport has improved its picture quality and Latch is promising to talk with customers like Coles and Browne to troubleshoot their problems, hoping to iron out any issues before the tournament starts.