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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : June 04, 2010

World Cup streaming potential could push huge revenue

Less than a month to go before the World Cup takes center stage around, well, the world. Soccer, to those of us in America, or football teams will be watched and betted on, cheered and rallied around. What's more, the online potential could give the World Cup it's largest audience ever. You don't think so? Think again.

by Kristina Knight

Consider the 2010 Winter Olympics. According to research from comScore viewers tuned in to watch streaming content throughout the Olympic games, many using pure sports portals in addition to NBC's Olympic-focused portal. In the US alone more than 30 million consumers logged on to watch athletes compete in the games with typical visits lasting 11 minutes and pageviews reaching an 18 count.

The World Cup potential is quite a bit larger than that because consumers will be logging on not just to see highlights but to watch entire games which are not carried by their local television stations. And they will pay for the privilege.

Tom Smith, Director of Global Web Index said, "There is proven appetite for streaming all sports online and more importantly, consumers are increasingly paying for it. There is a whole new generation of younger consumers, as well as specific markets like China and South Korea where paying for sports online is quickly becoming the norm. This research shows that the days when online sports rights are thrown in as a sweetener with the TV rights may be about to be shown the red card."

According to information from the Global Web Index, a collaboration between Lightspeed Research and Trendstream, consumers in India and South Korea are most likely to pay to stream games, while viewers in Europe and North America are most likely to 'pay' by watching ads.

While paying to watch uninterrupted streams is better for the video providers, namely FIFA, the Global Web Index believes the video rights are still extremely undervalued because of the number of consumers who will be streaming content during the tournament. Online rights to video are usually bundled in the television rights. Because so many viewers now prefer to watch online, these researchers suggest that online and televised rights should be separated to increase the revenue potential.

Tags: 2010 Winter Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, Global Web Index, video content, video streaming, World Cup

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