SBS's 2014 FIFA World Cup Broadcast, By The Numbers

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]


Comments

    Spectacular job by SBS. I don't own a TV and my only means of watching the games was through their site. Not a single interruption, excellent stream quality and speed, low ad saturation, virtually seamless and all on my pissy 1.6Mbit/s connection. This is what streaming should be like.
    The only complaint, and minor at that, was occasionally when the stream quality changed the video skipped for a split second, which happened during a couple of goals. Not to worry though, minor issue.

    Completely agree. Hand everything to SBS if you want it done right, best sporting coverage I have seen on Australian TV.

    The only time I could fault the coverage was when I watched the Argentina v Netherlands semi final through streaming. The live tracker bar on the bottom of the screen showed the result of each of the penalty goals before the shot was taken on the video. I'm guessing I had some sort of lag, but it would have been nice if the lag had been replicated below as well.

      +1

      I noticed the same thing in the exact same situation. I somehow managed to hide that when I went full screen though

    The only problem I had was that I didn't get enough sleep.
    Which wouldn't have been a problem if one of the Commercial Stations had won the rights!

    They would have done it "properly":
    a) showing only Socceroos matches
    b) live into Eastern States only (delay to other states)
    c) with a nightly highlights package advertised as commencing at 11:15pm, but actually commencing at 11:23pm, to wrap up the other events of the day.
    d) an iOS only pay per view app at the very reasonable rate of $15/hour, which couldn't manage a consistent stream even if you were connected directly into the server by Ethernet cable.

    Plus they'd have sent "Kochie" (insert network equivalent) over to do the Breakfast program in Brazil!

    Probably the single most complete coverage of a sporting event. I think it helps with the scale of the World Cup, but I was staggered by just how good and how accessible it all was. Streaming quality was top notch on wifi and 3/4G, loved the litany of angles you could choose to watch full games from, and for select highlights in game.

    As a sports fan, it was just heaven. I could only dream of it being this good and this complete for so many other sports.

    Outstanding job done by SBS, and the quality was perfect, finally a TV station has embraced new technology and exploited it to the fullest, which shows with the numbers. Now if only the commercial networks will take notice of this and lift their game to match SBS, the quality on commercial networks website is terrible, and I'm finding it hard to believe that they would even have live streaming, they are far to rusted on to their out-dated model which people are abandoning in droves.
    Bravo SBS, and your Tour de France online coverage is just as great as your World cup.

    Absolutely outstanding coverage. Give yourself a pat on the back SBS. When I had to leave for work during the early morning games, the stream was absolutely faultless, high quality and the extra camera angles were an added bonus.

    People appreciate a good coverage, take note Channel 7 and broadcast sport (namely AFL) in HD. Its depressing to watch world cup games in such brilliant quality and then flick over to the sub-standard AFL coverage and mediocre commentary team.

    Again, kudos to SBS.

    Give the commonwealth games to SBS; it's going to suck on any other channel.

    SBS had flawless coverage and great analysis. Why can't the bigger networks do that?!

    Kudos to SBS teaching to big networks how to do live event coverage properly.

    And we will have a good comparason on how the commercial station screw it up with the commonwealth games!

    So I watched it with 500 people at the Hofbrauhaus in Melbourne. SBS TV and Radio broadcast. These guys officially win at sport! Here is my 2 minute video of Germany ★★★★ winning and crowd reaction. It was epic! thank you SBS and Hofbrauhaus! tinyurl.com/finalgermanywin

    The SBS coverage of the World Cup was brilliant start to finish. No other station in Australia has come close to it for sporting events. Big shout out to Broadcast Australia for keeping the SBS channels going over this period. Excellent effort by all and sets a new standard.

    it was amazing! simply amazing.

    however, one can always have a negative, and this is mine.
    there were some times (maybe 2 or 3 times) in some matches i watched at work (100mb connection) where the screen went black and the audio kept going, but within a couple of seconds it came back.
    very very very minute, and not really annoying at all, not really worth mentioning

    Echoing everyone else's comments - I watched games across TV, tablet, mobile (on WiFi and 4G) and PC - during the final group games, 2 of the above methods at once! The experience was as near to flawless as makes no difference. Brilliant job by SBS. Imagine the other networks a) showing every game live, and b) showing every game without ads during play? Not on your Nelly!

    SBS you did a great job. Event was fantastic U.S soccer team is not strong enough to overtake Argentina, Brazil, Germany and many more teams. But I liked the play of U.S team gave tough time to every team in its matches. But many things happened in world cup like Spain knocked out of world cup in very first round which was the previous football champion. In Semifinal, Germany beat Brazil by 7-1, these were breath taking moments.
    I watched FIFA world-cup stream live on my tablet and enjoyed a lot. I want to thanks iAfrica. tv who made me happy.

    Last edited 17/07/14 5:15 am

    SBS you did a great job. Event was fantastic U.S soccer team is not strong enough to overtake Argentina, Brazil, Germany and many more teams. But I liked the play of U.S team gave tough time to every team in its matches. But many things happened in world cup like Spain knocked out of world cup in very first round which was the previous football champion. In Semifinal, Germany beat Brazil by 7-1, these were breath taking moments.
    I watched FIFA world-cup stream live on my tablet and enjoyed a lot. I want to thanks iAfrica. tv who made me happy.

    Add me to the list of very impressed consumers. SBS, you absolutely nailed it, can't rate the experience highly enough. I was already a fan of SBS but this has firmly cemented them as my favorite TV channel in Australia. If only some of the paid streams I've watched were as good!

    One of the games, I watched the first half streaming then went to the office cafe to watch the second half with my co-workers and was actually disappointed with the quality of the image on the TV! That was weird but just highlights how good the steamed images were.

    Be careful not to overpraise them. It'll make Murdoch and his Fox jealous and they'll try to by the broadcast rights for the next WC

    There needs to be a thank you campaign and/or a lets get all other broadcasters up to this standard campaign. And protesting against cutting SBS's funding. They did an amazing, world class job and they should be proud of themselves and held up as the new standard that all should be held to. No more crap world sports event coverage!

    The coverage online was outstanding. Simply brilliant. Extremely user-friendly and of excellent quality. A magnificent advert for the World Game. When channel surfing to AFL\NRL coverage it made the other codes look positively pre-historic. Has got to sweep up all the media sports awards this year - nothing else comes close.

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