Post contributed by Jim Brady, Sr. Manager, Cisco Public Relations
Looking back on the 2010 edition of the World Cup, one thing is clear – unless you intentionally avoided the event, chances are you’d have seen some of it. The World Cup was everywhere.
I counted the number of screens on which I watched matches this year – 22 — and chances are there were more, from my TV, my smartphone, my two computers, a few neighborhood tavern TVs, friends’ TVs and computers, workplace TVs and a slew of others.
When Spain star Andres Iniesta struck the shot heard around the world in the 116th minute of the World Cup final against the Netherlands leading Spain to the title, I was 35,000 feet above the ground somewhere over Ohio. And I was able to witness it live, via streaming technologies, on my flight from San Francisco to New York.
I booked my flight three weeks prior, not realizing I’d be stuck on an airplane throughout the tournament’s biggest match. As an avid sports fan who followed the tournament closely from game one, I’d made the ultimate oversight and was resigned to the missing the final.
I got lucky. Were it 2006, I’d have missed the match and been stuck watching ESPN Sports Center highlights hours later.
Backed by streaming technologies and a wide global network of rights agreements spanning most major international TV territories, tournament host FIFA believes Sunday’s final between the Netherlands and Spain will go down as the most watched event of all-time, after early research is indicating the 2010 tournament had the event’s biggest viewing audience yet.
Team USA’s match against Ghana in late June was seen by more people in the United States than when America played a quarterfinal against Brazil in the 1994 World Cup the U.S. hosted. ESPN itself had over 300 staffers in South Africa to provide around-the-clock coverage for television, radio, the Web and mobile devices for media platforms around the world.
I, for one, am glad to be alive in 2010…and I’m looking forward to World Cup 2014.