Being able to watch all the World Cup games for free is great for fans, but we can’t help feeling sorry for Foxtel subscribers, particularly those who’ve paid for the expensive sports packages. No World Cup games will be available on the Foxtel cable or satellite services (except on the SBS channel, obviously), but you might be able to tune in to Foxtel on your mobile.
A Telstra spokesman suggested that “it is likely that we will rebroadcast SBS (ie. all matches) within our ‘Mobile Foxtel from Telstra’ product,” although that possibility would be dependent on reaching an agreement with SBS, presumably.
If that’s not satisfactory, there is another option. If you’re already a BigPond customer, BigPond TV is your home on the web for all the World Cup action. That’s great, but because Optus has snagged the tournament rights (see below), BigPond is not allowed to show actual match footage, so instead will cover the competition by providing all the news, developments, interviews and colour commentary in video format at H264 resolution via their BigPond TV football channel.
Both SBS and Fox Sports websites have excellent live ‘match trackers’ of the World Cup, with Fox Sports’ ‘World Cup 2010 interactive guide’ already looking like a real gem, displaying highly-visual and easy to use representations of match timetables, group results, the teams and league table stats on goal scorers, best attacking and defending teams and even who got the red and yellow cards.
What’s more, because the service is ‘unmetered’, meaning that streaming video of the World Cup doesn’t count towards whatever monthly download limit you normally have.
Now to Optus. As the ‘2010 FIFA World Cup Mobile Broadcaster’, Optus will provide free streaming of all the matches live and optimised for 3G mobile to their customers. There’ll be news, scores, highlights and other information updated throughout the competition, as well as hundreds of hours of archived video available to watch on your phone, partly thanks to a partnership deal Optus has struck with SBS.