England Match Watched By ‘Up To Half a Million’ People Online

by Jacquie Bowser, Brand Republic 12-Oct-09, 11:55

LONDON – Up to half a million internet users watched England’s clash with Ukraine live online on Saturday, according to international football agency Kentaro.

Times Online 1Kentaro, which held the TV rights to the game, teamed up with digital sports specialist Perform to stream the 5.15pm match online after failing to agree rights offers with any of the more traditional broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV and Five.

Depending on how early they paid, users had to stump up between £4.99 and £11.99 to view the match online.

Kentaro claimed “up to half a million” football fans watched the 1-0 defeat, which is a record for an internet broadcast.

However, neither Kentaro nor Perform are revealing any specific figures due to their “commercial sensitivity” and the Daily Mirror is claiming that only 250,000 watched the match.

Odeon cinemas across the country also screened the game via satellite and Kentaro said “many were completely sold out”.

Philipp Grothe, chief executive of Kentaro, said: “This pioneering broadcast has been a great success. Not only have we delivered Britain’s largest ever live pay-to-view internet sports audience but commercially the venture has proved itself as a viable model for future games.”

A highlights package was shown on the BBC late on Saturday night after Kentaro secured a last-minute deal with the broadcaster.

The BBC had agreed not to announce the highlights programme until after the live online broadcast. Once the game had ended, the news was broken to viewers by Bruce Forsyth during ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.

Alan Green also announced the highlights package on the BBC’s Five Live radio programme about 10 minutes after the game’s final whistle.


~ by rtymerej on October 12, 2009.

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