October 5, 2009
England Hit The Net: World Cup Clash Not On TV.
LONDON (UK), Monday 5th October 2009: Saturday’s Ukraine Vs England FIFA World Cup 2010 qualifying game will make history as the first England international to be broadcast exclusively over the internet and in cinemas across the UK.
Fans will be able to watch the landmark match live from the Dnipro Arena in Ukraine by registering at www.ukraineVengland.com. Subscription will be available at an early-bird price of £4.99 up until end of play on Wednesday 7th October, increasing during the week to a maximum rate of £11.99 for purchases made on the day.
Pre-match coverage commences at 4.45pm on Saturday 10th October with a special programme charting the Three Lions impressive progress through the tournament to date, exclusive interviews with England players and analysis and insights from studio guests. James Richardson will present the live coverage, alongside ex England manager and Notts County Director of Football Sven Goran Eriksson. Commentary will come from David Pleat and Tony Jones.
A number of leading national newspapers and internet service providers will also make the match available on their own websites to ensure that fans will be able to cheer on the national team. Partners include The Sun, The Times, News of the World, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Express, The Daily Star, The Independent, Virgin Media and Orange who have a cumulative combined monthly user base online of over 20 million in the UK. When combined with Perform’s own online sports network of over 23 million monthly users, the promotion of the match will be the largest online campaign in UK history; one week after the Internet Advertising Bureau announced that spending on internet advertising in the first half of 2009 exceeded that on television for the first time.
The pricing of the match on all partner websites will be the same as on www.ukraineVengland.com and all websites will also offer a promotion where the user can watch the match for free if they open and fund an account with bet365.com, the leading online bookmaker, which already streams over 5,000 live sports events a year to their customers.
The international clash is the toughest competitive match that the national team will face before the World Cup in South Africa next year. England have won all eight of the qualifying games in this campaign – the best ever performance by The Three Lions, scoring 31 goals and conceding just 5 under Coach Fabio Capello. The England squad will be playing for their places in South Africa 2010. The game will also have a key bearing on England’s FIFA and UEFA seeding. For the Ukraine the game is key. They are unbeaten in four straight qualifiers, since losing 2-1 to a late John Terry goal at Wembley in April, and will be playing for their place in South Africa.
The international football agency Kentaro, acquired the broadcast rights from the Ukrainian FA and had sold the game to Setanta in December 2007. However the pay-TV broadcaster went into administration over the summer leaving this key match without a UK broadcaster. With no offers on the table from UK free to air or pay-TV broadcasters Kentaro decided to seek the widest possible online audience, appointing digital sport specialist Perform, to market and stream the match online, on a pay-per-view basis.
Andrew Croker, Executive Chairman of Perform said; “Millions of people around the world follow live sports online and this shows a real sign of the times – we’re extremely excited to be involved in this landmark event.”
Philipp Grothe, CEO of the Kentaro Group said; “Over 20 Million people in the UK regularly use the internet to watch sport. The mainstream adoption of broadband and the growing popularity of online viewing – is now a realistic alternative to old-fashioned TV broadcasting.”
Kentaro have also struck a deal with Arts Alliance Media to screen the game in key cinemas across the country. The deal will include the Odeon Group.
Peter Silverstone, MD of Kentaro UK said; “To support the internet broadcast we will stage big screen events for fans around the country and our partnership with Arts Alliance Media will give thousands of cinema goers the chance to enjoy the key game, en masse.”
Press Contact: Taylor Herring PR – 0208 206 5151
About Online Broadcasting
• Across the Wimbledon 2009 fortnight, the BBC Sport website received a total of 19.3 million requests for Wimbledon audio-visual content (live and on-demand) of which 16.2 million was to live coverage – three-and-a-half times more than for live streams across the 2008 tournament. (Source: BBC Press Office)
• 80.1% of the total U.K. internet audience viewed online video last year (Source: Comscore)
• 92% of people in the UK have a broadband speed of over 2MB. (Source: Internet Advertising Bureau, September 2009)
• Web users made 45m requests to watch TV programmes on the BBC iPlayer in July, 2009 (Source: BBC)
• UK online video viewing approached 5 Billion views in April 2009, up 47 Percent compared to 2008 (Source: Comscore)
• The UK has become the first major economy where advertisers spend more on internet advertising than on television advertising, with a record £1.75bn online spend in the first six months of the year. (Source: Internet Advertising Bureau, September 2009)
About Kentaro: Specialising in the global marketing of national soccer federations, leagues and clubs, Kentaro´s core business is the international acquisition and distribution of premium broadcast rights. Kentaro markets the TV rights for over 250 matches in the build-up to the FIFA World Cup 2010, including 90% of the South American qualifiers. More than 20 federations rely on Kentaro’s unique network and management skills, as do countless top club sides such as Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC. Headquartered in Switzerland with branch offices in London, Hamburg, Stockholm and most recently Chicago, the world’s fastest-growing sports rights agency also exclusively organizes all exhibition matches of the Brazil national team.
About Perform: Perform is a leading digital sport business who currently stream over 15,000 live events each year across the internet and provide web, mobile or online video services to 13 official Barclays Premier League and 67 official Coca-Cola Football League club websites. Perform is a world leader in delivering sports content in digital media. The company works with sports rights holders, publishers, bookmakers and media groups and has developed over 230 web, video broadband and mobile sites that serve over 20 million unique users. Perform also works with every major UK publisher group including News International, Trinity Mirror Group, Daily Mail Media Group, Telegraph Media Group and Guardian News and Media Ltd to provide extensive sports video highlights online through the e-Player, reaching over 10 million unique viewers every month. Football clients include Chelsea FC (who recently won the SportsBusiness Ultimate Sports Website Award), the Premier League, Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham, Fulham, Rangers and through Football League Interactive, Perform provide the platform for over 80 clubs. Headquartered in Middlesex London, Perform employs 310 staff and has offices in central London, Holland, Italy, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, India and the USA. In November and December 2008, Perform stepped in when traditional TV deals did not materialise for UEFA Cup away matches featuring Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, streaming them live on a pay-per-view basis through www.mcfc.co.uk and www.tottenhamhotspur.com.
About James Richardson: James Richardson is famed for his 10-year-role as presenter and anchor of Football Italia. As well as this he appeared frequently alongside Des Lynam as co-presenter of The Friday Football Show and Football Matters on Setanta Sports. He is now the Italian football correspondent for leading publication FourFourTwo.
About Sven-Göran Eriksson: Former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson is famed for single-handedly raising England’s FIFA World ranking from 17th place to 4th place. The Swedish legend began his career as a low-league defender before becoming a successful manager in the late 1970’s and was named as England’s first foreign manager in 2002 following the resignation of Kevin Keegan. Eriksson spearheaded the international team’s assault on two World Cup tournaments and led them to the quarter finals of Euro 2004. He stepped down from his international post in 2006 before spending a year as manager of Manchester City where he achieved the club’s highest ever Premier League points total. Earlier this year Eriksson was confirmed as Director of Football at Notts County..
About Tony Jones: Tony Jones is an award winning sports reporter and football commentator who has contributed to international and domestic games on ITV, Channel 4, Channel Five and Sky Sports. He has covered broadcasts of crucial tournaments including the FA Cup, UEFA Cup, 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008 as well as live coverage of Serie A in Football Italia. With over 25 years experience in network commentary, Tony Jones is a football veteran with an unrivalled insight that earned him a Royal Television Society award for journalism.
About David Pleat: David Pleat is best known for his roles as manager and Director of Football at North London club Tottenham Hotspur. His management credentials also include stints at Leicester City, Luton Town and Sheffield Wednesday before he settled at Nottingham Forest as a football consultant in 2006. Pleat has since forged a successful career in football commentary and writes regular sports columns for The Guardian and Daily Mail.