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Internet TV England Football Match Fails to Crash UK Broadband ISPs

Posted: 12th Oct, 2009 By: MarkJ
No last weekend’s football match between England and the Ukraine, which was screened as an online only event, did not cause the Internet to crash, implode, slow to a crawl or obliterate the entire human race as some reports had claimed. In fact most UK broadband ISPs reported only a marginal increase in traffic when just 500,000 of the original estimate (2.5 Million) tuned in to view (there were over 250k actual subscribers).

Perform, which managed the event, claimed there were no technical issues and all customer enquiries were responded to within 5 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.

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."

But away from the PR spin things are a bit different, with some people complaining of a poor atmosphere and unsatisfactory picture quality. Having paid £4.99 to watch the match myself, and at the best quality, I felt equally underwhelmed, not least because of England's poor performance on the pitch. At the very least they should have tried to make an HD quality stream available.

Happily though we saw no reports of problems by any broadband ISPs, with Virgin Media informing us that its cable network saw only an "average" 9.9% uplift in traffic between 5pm and 7pm on Saturday. Elsewhere no other ISPs had anything specific to report on the matter and we haven't seen any gripes from consumers about slower than usual services.
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