The World Cup is in full swing, and with it SBS’ coverage online and in its Android and iOS apps. It has been a bold experiment for the public broadcaster — but has it worked?
I’m no great sports fanatic at the best of times, although soccer is one sport that I’ll watch if it happens to be on. In the case of the World Cup, that’s been on all the time at the moment thanks to SBS’ blitzkrieg of coverage across digital TV, games consoles, web and apps.
[related title=”WORLD CUP 2014″ tag=”fifa-2014″ items=”2″]The web and app side of things interested me intensely pre-launch, simply because there’s so very much that could go wrong, especially with buffering issues. Even though I’m broadly sports-indifferent, even I can appreciate that live sport needs to be live, not buffering every twelve seconds, especially in an age where Twitter could spoil the next goal or save long before a stream has caught up. It’s annoying when a drama hangs for a second or two, but when you’re watching a supposedly live game in the middle of the night it’s absolutely exasperating.
To that end, at least, though, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with SBS’s The World Game app and its streaming ability. There does seem to be a slight delay — so you’ve still got to keep clear of social media — but so far I’ve had no problems with it. Even the advertising seems relatively painless to me, and I can appreciate how this is a model that could be used for a lot of TV streaming going forth, as long as careful ad balance is maintained.
But that’s my mostly-non-sports eye viewing it, arguably with more of a view towards how to do online TV correctly. I’d be interested in your experiences of watching the World Cup online, especially if you’re a mad keen sports watcher generally. Has SBS kicked it into the back of the net, or is it more of an own goal?
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