Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks match streaming quality criticised but Spark Sport introducing new care measures

There were more complaints about Spark Sport's Rugby World Cup coverage on Wednesday, but the provider says the vast majority of viewers streamed the match successfully.

After last month's All Blacks v Springboks game was plagued by buffering issues and poor video quality, fans were hoping streaming complications would be fixed and the rest of the Rugby World Cup would run smoothly.

But for some fans watching the All Blacks v Canada match, that wasn't so.

Videos and images posted to social media and sent to Newshub show lagging vision, frequent error messages, audio issues.

"Sigh. Still stuttering every 2 or 3 seconds," wrote one fan on Twitter with a video of the match freezing on his screen. "Tonight's game is super laggy.. slows right down to slow motion but commentary still goes at normal pace... Frustrating," said another.

Spark Sport did try to help, responding to many of the tweets with troubleshooting options.

In a statement, Spark said both the France v USA and NZ v Canada games were streamed successfully, with the vast majority of customers having a great viewing experience.

It said all technical aspects of the streaming platform worked well and there were no known broadband congestion or outage concerns.

Some customers did need some assistance from the Spark Sport care team for device and set up issues, and anyone with issues are encouraged to contact Spark Sport in advance of the next match they want to view.

The provider has also brought into place "additional customer care measures to help some customers who are still experiencing issues watching Rugby World Cup matches that haven't been resolved through standard troubleshooting processes".

Announced prior to Wednesday's All Blacks game, Spark Sport said while thousands of Kiwis have had initial issues with buggy streaming fixed, it recognises a small portion are still having difficulties. 

"The volume of care interactions last weekend was 80 percent lower than the previous weekend, even though Spark Sport viewership was similarly high on both weekends," a statement said.

"We've managed to help most of those customers who experienced challenges with their set up during the early stages of the tournament through our standard troubleshooting process when they first contact us (phone call or live online chat).

"However, there remains a small percentage of customers who for a range of reasons, it has been challenging to find a resolution to their issues via our standard troubleshooting processes.

"Based on what we understand about these customers' situations, they should be able to have a good experience watching Spark Sport from their home but are still having issues."

It is implementing two new measures - offering to courier a new streaming device to customers at Spark's cost as well as free home visits to some customers to help them solve complex "in-home" challenges. 

These measures will only be offered on a case-by-case basis, but Spark hopes they go some way to ending what they acknowledge must be a "frustrating experience".

Spark Sport previously offered refunds to customers affected by the All Blacks v Springboks match. It said issues with that match related to its US-based streaming partner.