October 12, 2009
Online PR: England Match Sets New Internet Record.
World Cup Qualifier Is Britain’s Biggest Ever Pay-to-View Internet Sports Broadcast
LONDON, Monday 12th October: Close to half a million football fans watched and earned their place in the history books, as last night’s FIFA World Cup qualifier became Britain’s biggest internet pay-to-view sports broadcast.
There were no technical issues and all customer enquiries were responded to within five minutes. A post match survey found that an average of 87% felt the picture quality was satisfactory or better and 93% were satisfied with the customer support. In a positive sign for future events, 87% said the match offered value for money and 89% would purchase another live sports event online.
In addition to the live stream, international football agency Kentaro struck an 11th hour highlights deal with the BBC, who screened the best moments of the match to viewers after the live internet game had been broadcast.
Odeon cinemas across the country also screened the game via satellite and many were completely sold out. Despite the match not being made available for public or commercial viewing purposes, it is believed pubs up and down the country streamed the match successfully via projectors and by linking computers to TV screens.
Earlier in the week, a special arrangement was made by Kentaro to screen the game to British Armed forces overseas for free. As many troops do not have internet access the game was broadcast into military bases via BFBS Television.
Philipp Grothe, CEO of Kentaro said; “This pioneering broadcast has been a great success. Not only have we delivered Britain’s largest ever live pay-to-view internet sports audience but commercially the venture has proved itself as a viable model for future games. Technology has ignited a revolution in people’s viewing habits and there is a new sports broadcast platform developing on the broadband enabled internet.”
Andrew Croker, Executive Chairman of Perform said: “This was an extremely successful and groundbreaking project. An innovative marketing approach particularly with national newspapers, betting and ISP affiliates meant that we were able to get this out to a broad audience and make it a huge success. Additionally, from a customer service, production and distribution point of view, we felt it went very smoothly.”
Peter Silverstone, Managing Director of Kentaro UK said; “We are indebted to our partner Perform, who have pulled off a technical coup in a few short weeks. Our newspaper, ISP and betting partners have been instrumental in making this venture the success that is. We have been encouraged by the level of debate this has stimulated amongst the sports industry.”
Fans watched the landmark match by registering at www.ukraineVengland.com. Subscriptions were available at an early-bird price of £4.99 rising to a maximum rate of £11.99 for purchases made on the day.
James Richardson presented the live coverage, alongside ex England manager and Notts County Director of Football Sven Goran Eriksson. Commentary came from David Pleat and Tony Jones.
A number of leading national newspapers and internet service providers also made the match available on their own websites. Partners included; 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. All websites offered a promotion where the user could watch the match for free if they opened an account with bet365.com, a leading online bookmaker.
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.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to its commercial sensitivity and value no further information or data will be released.