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Live Internet Football Game Grossed More Than £2m

by David Mercer | 10月 12, 2009

Perform and Kentaro have confirmed that "close to" half a million viewers watched the live internet stream of Ukraine v. England on Saturday (see my previous post). While this number includes British troops and cinema audiences, these numbers are not likely to reduce the internet audience significantly. At a conservative average revenue per subscriber of £5 (given that some proportion - those who paid in the last day or so - will have paid significantly more) this means that income from the match will have exceeded £2m. Ironically £2m is also the sum Kentaro (the rights holder) was reported to have been demanding for rights to broadcast the game live on regular TV. So if these estimates and reports are accurate, Kentaro may be pleased that it has generated more income than it originally hoped. Of course, it is not quite as straightforward, since Kentaro will have shared income with its distribution and marketing partners such as the national newspapers, and will have had to bear the significant costs of internet delivery with its partner, Perform. Whether the game actually made a profit for either partner is likely to remain a well-kept secret. Kentaro’s willingness to negotiate a last-minute deal with the BBC for highlights suggests that it was not prepared, contrary to its previous statements, to rely solely on the internet for its revenues. This suggests that it was struggling to balance the books on this event through online-only distribution. It also risks alienating future online sports subscribers who may in the future be reluctant to pay on the assumption of online exclusivity, only to find highlights will be available free-to-air after all. But as I indicated previously, it seems clear that delivery of live internet sports to a mass audience is now at least technically viable, and Perform should be congratulated for the technical success. Whatever the financial results of this particular event, hundreds of thousands of sports lovers have now seen with their own eyes that live internet sports broadcasting can be delivered effectively, and that has a significant marketing value. The quality is clearly not close to the best television can offer, but it will only improve over time. Twitter: twitter.com/DavidMercer_SA Client Reading: Online Video: YouTube vs. Hulu - Let the Battle Commence! Add to Technorati Favorites
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