BBC warns of 20-second delay on England World Cup streaming | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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Just as the nation is gripped by England’s World Cup quarter final game against Sweden, the BBC is warning that those seeking to watch the game over streaming services face latency delays that could be as long as 20 seconds.
HarryKane ITV WOrldCup 4JUy2018
The England football team’s previous game against Colombia, which ended in the Three Lions prevailing in a dramatic penalty shoot-out, hit a one-minute peak of 24.4 million viewers when shown on ITV which shares exclusive UK live free-to-air coverage rights to England World Cup games with the BBC whose turn it is to broadcast the quarter final. The coverage averaged 16.5 million viewers (69%) and had 3.3 million simulcast requests,  a record for the ITV Hub, the broadcaster’s steaming service, representing an 81% share.

Online and mobile video viewing has been hugely popular during the World Cup and for the group-stage matches the BBC has seen a total of over 40.9 million live and on-demand requests for video from the BBC Sport web site and the BBC iPlayer. England’s opening game against Tunisia saw a record-breaking 3.22 million live requests, and the rout of Panama attracted 2.8 million viewers. 

Yet bracing for even more records being broken, the BBC has warned that those who can’t get to big screens to access the broadcast TV signal and use computers and smartphones to watch the game can expect to see significant delays in feeds. Talking to The Guardian newspaper,  BBC product team leader Neil Hall said the delays were sadly just an intrinsic facet streaming, something that plagued Optus in Australia which had to abandon its streaming of football games during the tournament.

“It’s one of the flaws in an emerging technology,” Hall told The Guardian. “A number of years ago, people accessing streams online had to be in the office on a PC with a fast broadband connection. Now what we tend to see is around 45% of stream starts are from people on mobile. While [delays] can be a factor today it shouldn’t be a considered a constraint for the long term.”