British fans fume as World Cup qualifier match goes Internet only

British football fans are kicking up a fuss about being unable to watch this weekend's England vs. Ukraine World Cup qualifier match on broadcast TV after the company that was supposed to show the match, Setanta UK, went bankrupt this summer. The event is being shown as a pay-per-view Internet offering that will be streamed by Perform. That, in turn, has created more problems for ISPs worried their customers may not have enough bandwidth to watch it.

There's also a cap of one-million viewers for the event, well below the normal viewership of an important match like this one. And--here's the real kicker--there's no deal that would allow pubs to show the match, a British tradition for decades.

Among the other issues: quality and price--one low, the other high--and the fact that the full game could eat up 2GB of data, pushing some users over their monthly data cap.

British ISPs say they're confident they'll be able to provide adequate connections for the one million lucky users who get to watch the match. "We are confident that our significant investment in technology and capacity, together with our Optimisation Tool will give our customers a ‘virtual' pitch side vantage of the match," said Clodagh Murphy, Director of Eclipse Internet. "We will also have our UK based Technical Support team on hand to help our customers should they encounter any difficulties."

For expatriate Brits, in most cases there's no access to the online match, as it's blocked because of broadcasting rights restriction. A sad state of affairs for English football.

To find out if you CAN watch the match, check out this website.

For more:
- see this ISPreview story