Confirming reports issued last week painting the ongoing FIFA World Cup soccer tournament as the biggest TV Everywhere event ever, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) reported an all-time-best 9.2 million live streams of World Cup action on its Xfinity platform through the first 18 days of competition.
That figure bests the previous record of 7.8 million live streams recorded for the Winter Olympics Games in Sochi, wrote Vito Forlenza, senior director of TV Everywhere content and product strategy for Comcast Cable, reporting via corporate blog.
Last week, broadcast rights holders ESPN and Univision reported peak concurrent streams of more than 2.4 million for the match between Germany and the U.S on June 26. According to Forlenza, Comcast tallied through its network alone 683,000 live streams for Germany's 1-0 victory of the U.S., either directly on Xfinity TV Go or via WatchESPN.
"This has been the biggest live streaming event EVER for Xfinity TV," he wrote, "surpassing the top streamed event of Soch, the USA vs. Canada men's hockey seminfinal, by 63 percent."
In the runup to the World Cup, Watch ESPN executive Damon Phillips boldly predicted that his network's match coverage could generate "watershed" audience sizes for the Disney-owned company's TV Everywhere products, with U.S. soccer fans office-bound during weekeday morning and afternoon matches.
A number of analysts, however, pooh-poohed this forecast, assuming--incorrectly, in hindsight--that soccer simply wasn't popular enough in the U.S. to generate that kind of interest.
- read this Comcast blog post
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