Talking tech since 2003

I’ll admit it: while I was writing my two posts earlier today (this one and this one), I also happened to be watching the World Cup match between USA and Germany via watchESPN. It was a drag that we lost, but hey – we’re still moving on to the next round. But while Team USA may have lost, it seems that STREAM USA racked up a big win, with a record-breaking number of people live streaming from watchESPN.

A post on TechCrunch reports that watchESPN pulled in 1.7 million concurrent viewers during the second half of the game – which just so happened to be when Germany scored its game-winning goal. There were so many users trying to get access to the game, that some reported an inability to even log in.

“We did investigate some limited issues due to unprecedented demand during the first half,” said an ESPN spokesperson. The post also reports that the Super Bowl this past year managed to pull in 1.1 million concurrent viewers on the Fox Sports Go streaming service. Considering the comparative popularity of both sports, that’s a pretty impressive number for the World Cup match – and now that America’s made it to the next round, don’t be surprised to see that number shoot up even higher next time.

We already heard about how soccer-related apps have seen a huge spike in popularity since the start of the World Cup games. This year happens to be the first one where smartphones have the level of ubiquity to give users options to keep up with the Cup from anywhere. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in 2018 – when we’re all trying to watch the World Cup on Google Glass or whatever.

Moreover, the number of live streamers could also signal a growing interest in soccer as a sport in the US. Could this signify the potential for greater love for the MLS once the World Cup has wrapped up? And how many more users can ESPN’s servers take before they crash?

[Source: TechCrunch]


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