Way before knowing which channel would broadcast the 2010 World Cup of soccer (or the Vancouver Olympic Games back in February [FR]), I started to wonder where to watch the live games on the Internet. In Canada, the World Cup takes place during weekdays AND during business hours. Here is a list of the best solutions in order to follow intensively the live competition on the web.
1. The World Cup live on Internet TV
Thanks to recent technology, TV channels that are authorized to broadcast the World Cup now offer a free streaming video through their website. As for 2010, major improvements have been performed quality-wise. Thus the games are now displayed in full-screen mode.
On the other hand, you ought to know that the majority of TV channels will impose a video geo-blocking. It means that if you are in Canada, you cannot watch the games broadcasted on a French website and vice versa. Only China seems to broadcast ‘‘worldwide’’ without apparent geo-blocking. This should remain for a while unless the Dalai Lama starts to play soccer!
In France, TF1 offers a fabulous experience thanks to a Flash video player replaying the game greatest highlights while the current game is still live through a small shift screen. The image finish is amazing. NB: An Internet connection with a VPN from France allowed me to test the TF1 stream from Montreal.
2. The World Cup live on Internet video
If you live or spend your holidays in one of the few countries that won’t broadcast the World Cup, I recommend you to go for MyP2P. I will not get into the legal details of this option; but let’s just say that you will be able to watch live games from relatively anywhere in the world.
MyP2P only displays the sources. In order to watch these stream videos, you will need to install software. Spocast is a recommended for P2P video player through Windows. You may use Flip4Mac for Mac, even though it might not work for all types of video flows.
3. The World Cup live on social networks
I think that Twitter takes advantage of its skills to promote a ‘‘social’’ coverage of the World Cup. On twitter.com/worldcup, you will find comments per country/per game as well as the complete game schedule.
Facebook did things differently for the 2010 World Cup. News websites (L’équipe [FR]) and TV stations (TFI and Radio Canada) created their own Facebook page and placed it beside their video or live comment. The main advantage is the possibility to see if our friends are online and discuss with them. Unfortunately, I did not really enjoy this experiment because it was very loud and noisy.
4. The World Cup live on your cell phone
If you live in a modern country such as France (Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Canal+), Japan or Tunisia [FR], you may watch the World Cup in video on your cell phone. These countries’ great telecom operators offer TV mobile programs broadcasting live games.
For those with tight budgets or the ones who live in one of the digital ‘‘Third World’’ countries such as Canada, you may download apps available mainly on the iPhone in order to support your favourite team. Two apps stand out: Mondial 2010 – Radio-Canada and Coupe du Monde 2010 France.
5. The World Cup live on your game console
While I was browsing the web for inspiration hints, I found this article from Comment ça marche [FR] explaining all the steps to ultimately watch the World Cup from a game console. The Sony PSP console allows reading a video flow in WiFi. Although its range limits are equivalent to the wireless network, it could still be used as a 5th TV screen if all of the others are already taken!
6. The World Cup live in a bar
Cyberpress [FR] states that watching a live game from the World Cup was nearly impossible a few years ago. Back then, Radio Canada broadcasted pre-recorded games a few weeks after the event took place. Hard to imagine this kind of scenario when it comes to hockey games!
In my opinion, the best way to watch and follow deeply the World Cup of soccer is mostly by meeting with all the passionate fans in bars where soccer games are broadcasted. That is exactly what I did in 2007 for the World Cup of rugby [FR] thanks to their last years of the Top 14 games in France. At last, my team did finally win the ‘‘bouclier de Brennus’’ in 2010!
Each community has their favourite bars in Montréal. As for French people, they meet in bars like Le Barouf and le Massilia. Not a fan of soccer games? Well, let’s just say that the main advantage of hanging in bars during these soccer games is that you may always enjoy a nice and cold beer AND get the chance to discuss with lovely ladies that do not follow that sport either.