The World Cup. Watching at Work. A Massive Wave of Ways to Experience (and vuvuzelas)
Omar Gallaga, tech reporter for my local paper The Austin American Statesmen, pointed out a recent NPR interview discussing the fact that World Cup opened during the work week here in the U.S., forcing many to watch via the web on their work computers or even their mobile devices (for the record, on Friday, I was very busy entrenched in an individual strategic planning session and can in no way comment on the crazy offsides call in the 84th minute of the United States vs. Slovenia match).
Fans are now more than passive viewers (albeit animated ones…especially when crazy penalty calls are made…are you kidding me!) and the gap between a live experience and a viewing experience is getting ever more narrow. I was looking at this amazing infographic depicting the evolution of following and watching the World Cup over the last 80 years and was struck at the reality that technology is the enabler. And, for the first time ESPN and others are delivering 3D HDTV that is capturing every corner kick, pass, and goal scored (and, the ones that almost were…or should have been counted…but I’m not bitter or anything).
In addition to viewing the game at work and home, we can all experience the analysis, updates and have some fun with the many smart phone apps that are available from providers such as Univision, ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup app, Mobi.TV Orb Live, AT&T’s Mobile TV, Verizon’s V CAST and Sprint TV.
All of this is bringing the world together in ways we’ve not yet imagined. Certainly, we’ll know more after the champion is crowned and the vuvuzelas mercifully silence, but I’ve seen some initial estimates that have the cumulative viewership of the tournament is expected to reach 28 billion. That’s astounding, but it’s just the beginning of where we will go in the future and it certainly reinforces the trends that we’ve mentioned in our recent VNI forecast where video is at the heart of nearly every major networked experience.
Are you seeing your co-workers and friends following the action from work or their mobile devices? How do you think it’s different from 2006 and where to you think it will be in 2014?
Oh, and in case you haven’t seen it we invite you to put yourself and your friends in the action and enjoy what is The Beautiful Game. I must say that I’m having some fun personalizing this and that my soon-to-be third grade son is now attempting to scissor-kick all objects in the house (much to the disliking of his mother)!
Enjoy the World Cup! And, take it easy on the vuvuzela celebrations.