Rugby World Cup 2019: Spark Sport undergoes teething problems in tournament opener

Spark Sport is pleased with the number of people who streamed the opening match of the Rugby World Cup, despite some fans having connection problems during the match. 

Almost 60,000 fans tuned in to watch hosts Japan beat Russia 30-10, and while many were impressed with the streaming service, others took to social media to express their frustrations. 

Some fans reported their stream freezing on an image while the audio continued to play, other complained of lagging and glitching. 

Spark confirmed after the match fewer than 1 percent had issues, but most of them were related to their home setup. 

"Spark Sport is happy with how things worked throughout the night from the commentary and production right through to technical delivery," the telco said in a statement.

"The streaming service worked well across all devices, and the content delivery network servers delivering the coverage to New Zealanders operated well within their capacity. Spark's broadband network performed well, as did the networks of other broadband providers."

On Friday, Spark was under fire after some customers received letters saying their broadband wasn't up to scratch, and they'd have to find alternative ways to watch the opening match.

Between June 17 and September 12, Spark offered a free World Cup Tournament Pass to new broadband customers, or existing customers who renewed a contract or upgraded their plan.

Spark said the late surge of subscribers to the World Cup pass had caused issues with "cross-checking" the quality of those connections.

Spark is also encouraging everyone who has not already tried the app to do it as soon as possible, with three live games on Saturday - including the All Blacks' opener against the Springboks. 

Join Newshub for live updates of the All Blacks v South Africa from 9:45 pm Saturday