Monday, October 5, 2009
INTERVIEW-Soccer-Football follows advertising revenue online
By Kevin Fylan
LONDON, Oct 5 - The Internet-only broadcast of
England's game in Ukraine is just the start of a trend given the
migration of viewers online and the advertising and sponsorship
money chasing them, the company behind the deal said on Monday.
Although born out of necessity, following the collapse of
Irish broadcaster Setanta in June, offering the Oct. 10 World
Cup qualifier on a pay-per-view basis online should bring in a
bigger audience than it would otherwise have had, Kentaro boss
Philipp Grothe said.
Coming a week after news that spending on Internet
advertising in Britain had jumped ahead of television for the
first time, the deal made perfect sense, while offering
"fantastic value" for consumers, according to Grothe.
"We go where the money is and the money is already on the
net," Grothe told Reuters in an interview.
"So the money is on the Internet, the viewers are on the
Internet and now we are bringing the content where the money
He added: "Since it's fairly new, I would say we tried to be
as reasonable as possible.
"If you look at pay per view in the United States, a boxing
event is 50 dollars, while in the UK it's 20 pounds ($31.85) or
more. (This deal) is fantastic value. You can't say this is
Kentaro have done a deal with live event streaming
specialists Perform for online broadcast, while the match will
also be shown in cinemas.
Grothe said he expected more and more matches to be offered
for Internet broadcast, as digital convergence continued.
He also made the point that if the match proves an internet
sell-out -- they are limiting subscriptions to a million for
technical reasons -- that would be a significant figure.
"We are limiting this to a million, which equates to around
2.5 million viewers," Grothe said. "That's certainly more than
Setanta would have had."
He added: "This is an exciting deal because of the scale of
the match ... but from a technical point of view it's something
we do on a daily basis. For techies, it's probably quite boring.
"And from a fan's point of view, with technology converging
... you will not care if (the broadcast) comes via antenna or
cable or broadband. You just want to see the content and live
sports rights will be the killer content."
England have already secured qualification for the 2010
World Cup in South Africa, leaving the qualifier in Ukraine of
relatively minor importance from an England point of view.
(Editing by Justin Palmer
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