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World Cup kicks up live streaming 141% over 2014; how much higher will it go?
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Early World Cup matches have seen concurrent streams more than double from the peak match of the 2014 World Cup. QoS specialist Conviva says Iceland’s 1-1 tie with Argentina (and its superstar Lionel Messi) June 16 had a peak concurrent audience of 7.7 million, more than twice the 3.2 million from 2014’s top game. In fact, all the matches played so far have exceeded 2014’s top game.

Conviva also pointed out that the 7.7 million concurrents for Iceland-Argentina topped the 5.5 million for last year’s Super Bowl, which saw 5.5 million concurrent viewers.

The 2010 World Cup (the first time we worried about “breaking the Internet)? A now paltry 1.5 million concurrent viewers for the top game.

Other notable World Cup streaming results:

• The BBC said it set a record Monday when some 3 million streamers watched England’s win over Tunisia on its iPlayer streaming platform.

• Telemundo Deportes, which has U.S. Spanish-language World Cup rights, had a string of record days that started with last Friday’s (June 15) 3-3 draw between Spain and when it saw 939,000 unique streamers. It set records again on Saturday and Sunday with Mexico’s 1-0 win over Germany as the highlight at 1.1 million uniques.

Telemundo said viewers have watched an average of 32 minutes live streaming.

With the World Cup matches still in the Group stage, the likelihood that more records will be set is quite high; eclipsing the Indian Premier League (IPL) global streaming record of 8.26 million concurrent viewers for the match between the Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad in May might, however, have to wait for the knockout round which starts June 30.

An Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) survey of 4,200 people in 21 countries showed that nearly as many people planned to live stream World Cup matched (65%) as watch them on television (71%).

A Bitkom study in Germany, meanwhile, said about 30% of respondents said they watch live streams or live text feeds of sporting events, a 30% increase since 2016. Some 83% said they watch on either a smartphone (54%) or tablet (29%), and 53% watch on smart TVs. PCs scored just 17%.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst at Ooyala. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

Jim O'Neill

An award-winning industry expert and futurist who specializes in the convergence of traditional TV and the Internet. My focus includes pay TV, Cloud TV, OTT, multiplatform media delivery, the ecosystem that surrounds it and consumer trends. A frequent speaker at CES, NAB, Digital Hollywood, Park’s Associates Connections events, Streaming Media and Digital Entertainment World, among others. I'm the Editor of Videomind, which in the past year has won awards from Editor & Publisher and Digiday. I'm also the Principal Analyst at Ooyala. I'm based in Michigan. I formerly was an analyst at Parks Associates and editor of FierceOnlineVideo and FierceIPTV. 

You can follow on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on Linkedin