World Cup broadcasters target six billion screens and 4.7 billion connected devices
| 19 June 2014
It may have produced huge shocks in its first week but the World Cup is the most accessible in the football tournament's history, with broadcast and streaming services available on up to 5.9 billion screens globally, says analyst Ovum.

In its look at the dynamics of the competition for the broadcast industry, Ovum found that even though PCs, tablets, and smartphones are providing alternatives to conventional TV viewing, accounting for 57% of all screens, traditional broadcasting via terrestrial, cable, satellite, or IPTV is attracting the largest audiences and generating the most value for World Cup rights holders.

"Devices capable of streaming live and on-demand video of which there are now 4.7 billion are providing additional viewing opportunities outside the appointment viewing taking place in people's living rooms," says Ted Hall, senior analyst at Ovum. "With the likes of tablets providing the convenience and flexibility to consume content whenever and wherever, fans are able to watch more of the tournament than ever before. For broadcasters and operators providing multi-platform World Cup services, supplying demand with minimal technical hiccups should be of paramount concern. Having set consumer expectations for TV everywhere, providers must now deliver on the promise of their offerings, as failure to do so can result in bad press and, more importantly, frustrated fans. While viewing live events online is improving, there is some way to go before it can compare with the reliability traditional TV distribution offers for the largest audiences."

Ovum also added that, despite a rather noticeable amount of hype, significant innovation of the viewing experience for this World Cup is somewhat lacking, such as 4KTV/UltraHD services. "4K technology is far from ready for home viewing, with holes in the transmission part of the ecosystem meaning that it will be some time before audiences of any significant scale will be watching UHDTV content in their living rooms," Hall observed. "And with FIFA abandoning its support of 3DTV for Brazil 2014 in light of the format's spectacular failure to capture the public's imagination the less glamorous HDTV will be the preferred format of many World Cup viewers, with up to 260 million homes watching matches in high definition."