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ISP BT Reveals UK Broadband Traffic for First Euro 2024 Matches

Tuesday, Jun 18th, 2024 (7:04 am) - Score 2,360
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Telecoms giant BT has kindly provided ISPreview with some internet traffic statistics from the first UEFA Euro 2024 football match between England and Serbia, which took place at 8pm on Sunday (16th June 2024), as well as the opening match between Germany and Scotland on Friday 14th (8:30pm).

Matches that take place outside a traditional holiday period, and during normal working hours, tend to drive a larger increase in usage. The reason for this is that people often attempt to stream such content while at work via their Smartphones, rather than view it via a traditional TV broadcast. But the opposite is true when outside of working hours, since people are more likely to tune-in via a traditional living room TV and terrestrial signal.

Suffice to say that most of the ISPs we’ve spoken with only saw a small increase in overall usage from the aforementioned UEFA Euro 2024 matches, which is unsurprising as they both occurred while most people were at home. But the latest data from BT’s fixed broadband network still manages to include some interesting stats.

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The data below shows the impact that both matches had on BT’s UK network, as well as the number of fans who streamed the match live, how much data was streamed at the time of both matches and in what parts of the UK.

England vs. Serbia

  • Unique customers: 1.39 million, with a peak of 298,000 viewers.
  • Data usage: BBC’s streaming drove 982.1 TB (TeraBytes) of data, marking a 186% increase compared to an average week, with a peak of 1.15Tbps (Terabits per second), an increase of 182%.
  • Total network traffic: 15,664 TB of data, peaking at 18.5 Terabits per second.
  • Top content providers during the match: BBC ranked 3rd, following Netflix and YouTube, with Facebook and Amazon completing the top five.
  • Significant increases in network traffic in various regions, particularly in London and South East of England, indicating high concentration of football fans in these densely populated regions, glued to their screens and streaming the match

Scotland vs. Germany

  • Unique customers: 571,000, peaking at 247,000 viewers.
  • Data usage: ITV’s streaming drove 1,250 TB of data, a 341% increase compared to an average week, with a peak of 1.44 Terabits per second, an increase of 336%.
  • Total network traffic: 15,104 TB, peaking at 17.6 Terabits per second.
  • Top content providers during the match: ITV ranked 3rd, following Netflix and YouTube.
  • As expected, Scotland saw significant traffic spikes, especially in major cities. Additionally, parts of the North West and Midlands also showed notable increases, suggesting widespread interest in the match.
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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
11 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

    My personal experience is that BBC iPlayer is now delivering a superior picture performance to Freeview HD even if it is only standard Hi Def (not UHD) and would now be the preferred way to view if it were not for the latency with iPlayer (up to a minutes delay). Perhaps as Freely gains traction the situation will improve.

    1. Avatar photo Jonny says:

      I did some testing the other day and ITV’s stream is 52 seconds behind the Freeview broadcast, iPlayer is 37 seconds. You can view their low latency test stream at https://rdmedia.bbc.co.uk/testcard/lowlatency/ it’s just a test card with a clock on but it’s about 19 seconds behind live.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      But freely will still have a higher latency than Freeview, I doubt it is possible for it not to be. But even Freeview has latency compared to analogue, and that changes mainly depending on your TV and how fast it is at decoding.

      Makes no odds to me as I don’t even have a TV licence, so I can’t watch Iplayer or any live TV, legally. Also, I hate football, so even watching 1 minute of it would bore me to death 🙂 . The problem is now, every time I turn the radio on, I hear about it. I really don’t care who wins or lose, and yet I have to put up with hearing about it so often, even on here now.

    3. Avatar photo Ash says:

      Hopefully with Sky launching low latency streaming on Sports channels soon. This gives everyone the nudge to use this. Especially for sports events.

    4. Avatar photo Random Precision says:

      @Ash Sky’s low latency test channels have been available for a while now on CH 921 HD and Channel 922 UHD/HDR. The delay has been reduced significantly and is down to around 12 seconds.

    5. Avatar photo Encoding Boy says:

      The decode time in the TV is relevant and does fluctuate a bit for broadcast linear, but the encode is fundamental (as it is for IP) and is pretty much 8-10secs as standard for HD and most SD these days. The way remaining SD channels on satellite might be a bit less as the encoders will be old, but that’s firmly on its way out anyway.

      Sky’s low latency Main Event stream on Glass/Stream will be down to around 15secs delay (or at least under 20) so you’re getting to the point of being not far behind HD broadcast channels.

    6. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      I remember a few years ago watching something at a friends house and someone was watching the same thing in another room, and you could hear the difference, so even on the same platform, latency can be different between different sets, this was using Freeview. It is a tiny difference, but it could still be heard.
      It is funny when sitting outside when there is a big match on, and you hear cheers from different houses at a slightly different time.

      As for IP, there is always going to be latency, I can’t see how sky can say low latency, well they could not put a figure on it as again it depends on many things.

      The days of getting something as it happens is gone apart from analogue radio and I presume one day that will go, but it keeps hanging on, which pleases me.

      I doubt Freely will come to much for a few years, a lot of people I have chatted to over the last few weeks either use Sky/freesat or Freeview and have no intention of using Freely even if they buy a TV with it. Some others like me who already watch their video content online will also not use Freely, they don’t see the point in it.

      We will wait and see how many more TV manufactures take it up, but even then, it will be years and as a lot of people keep their TVs for years.

      Talking of which, something I don’t understand, I have heard that TV sales have gone up since the football Euros or what ever it is called, started. I don;t get it, why would you buy a new TV unless you had to, just to watch football?

      It would be like me buying a new Hifi just to play a new CD.

  2. Avatar photo spurple says:

    Latency is the least of my concern. ITV needs to double the streaming bandwidth at least, and while iplayer is better in picture quality, both could benefit from increasing the framerates.

    1. Avatar photo Rob says:

      iPlayer runs at native 50fps in 1080p with HDR for the Euros. ITV is seriously lacking with their platform. The ghosting on the footballs are horrific.

  3. Avatar photo Nick Roberts says:

    All you get on BBC Freeview terrestial is dear Gary and assorted intellectual collossi doing pre & post-mortems and late evening edited highlights – pathetic. And the ITV internet server was forever buffering, Fluffing awful . . . for one of the national games.

    I was getting a better service last year watching the Test Match from Lords courtesy of a TV station server in Adelaide and a well known VPN service.

    I’m getting the distinct impression, after the current broadcasting round, especially after the appalling coverage of the Euro Athletics event, that Mr and Mrs Eminence Grise (Who pull the strings behind the scenes in this sceptic Isle (!)) have taken a policy decision to mark down anything likely to engender nationalistic fervour ?

    Anybody else get that feeling ?

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      I watched the W series motor racing last year using a VPN and an Aussie channel, and it worked great, no idea why ITV is having problems, not that I have seen it myself, so it could just be you.

      The BBc still have Gary, then? I thought they would have got rid of him by now, so glad I don’t pay for his wages

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