700 hours of live and catch-up TV coverage. Almost half the entire nation's population reached. 13.8 million online video streams through the SBS website, tablet and smartphone apps. These amazing numbers are what national broadcaster SBS pulled off over over the last month during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
In a great run-down of the details on The World Game, SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said the quadrennial sporting event was "an outstanding success", and that the technology line-up this year made it as easy as it has ever been for Australians to watch matches both live and delayed.
SBS director of sport Ken Shipp: "SBS's coverage extended across TV, online, radio, mobile, tablet and social media and it paid off, with SBS reaching 10.7 million Australians with our TV broadcast, over 13 million video streams viewed and the SBS World Cup app download more than 400,000 times. SBS radio offered commentary in 15 languages, the largest ever by a broadcaster in World Cup history."
All 64 matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stages, round of 16, quarter-, semi- and final were broadcast live on SBS and SBS2 and simulcast on the The World Game website video player and through the World Cup Edition apps for Android and iOS. In total, 13.8 million video streams were activated, with Australian matches predictably being the most popular with SBS' audience.
The final between Argentina and Germany early Monday morning, for example, had 1.14 million TV viewers and took 71.5 per cent of the free-to-air TV audience for its time slot. Online, 260,000 people viewed the live stream. Even SBS Radio broke new ground throughout the tournament — two channels dedicated to World Cup playback, 15 languages in total, and at least two languages for every single match broadcast.
SBS.com.au's unique audience (individual viewers, not repeat visits) for the month of June was 1.7 million Australians, and 645,000 of that figure went straight to The World Game. 50 million pages of World Cup content were served to SBS website visitors, and the World Cup app had 400,000 downloads across both Android and iOS. Of the 1500 reviews left on the Android app, over 1000 are a glowing 5 stars.
From my own perspective, I cannot fault SBS at all for the entire duration of the 2014 World Cup. Whether I was watching matches replayed on TV in the office, from under the bedcovers at 5AM on my tablet, or on my phone on the train through a Wi-Fi hotspot, the video coverage was top-notch — no match-breaking glitches, no drop-outs, and adaptive streaming that actually worked. Youtube could learn a thing or two from SBS. Bravo, guys. Bravo. [SBS The World Game]