Friday, June 02, 2006

BBC to restrict online World Cup to UK residents

The British Broadcasting Corporation has signed a deal with Infront Sports & Media, the company responsible for the worldwide marketing and sales of the broadcast rights to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which will allow internet users to watch all the games online. The BBC's TV games will be live and free-to-air with online viewers able to access the games at www.bbc.co.uk/worldcup and www.bbc.co.uk/sport although viewing of these matches will be reportedly restricted to computer users resident in the UK.

All of the BBC's group games will be available on these sites, as well as all the subsequent games the BBC has in the knockout stages. The BBC will also have the exclusive rights to England's second round and quarter-final games should they reach that stage. Furthermore, the BBC has non-exclusive rights to short highlights from every 2006 World Cup game. There will be four-minute clips from all of the 64 matches available on-demand whenever users want to view them.

In addition to watching the games, online users will be able to hear and read about the latest actions – BBC Radio Five Live will have an audio stream from the 2006 World Cup games and there will also be live minute-by-minute reports on every match written by BBC journalists.

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