Streaming video tech firm Akamai has had its hands full supporting the livestreaming demands for the 2018 World Cup, which is already the biggest sporting event the company has ever dealt with.
The company said that within 10 days of the tournament, total traffic surpassed all 64 matches of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. So far, the July 3 Colombia-England second-round match drove the highest video traffic peak of the tournament, reaching 18.59 terabits per second.
“This is the highest video traffic peak for any single sporting competition that Akamai has helped deliver. During the 2014 tournament, our highest peak was 6.9 terabits per second during the Netherlands-Argentina semi-final, which set record at the time for the highest peak traffic rate of any live sports event that Akamai had delivered,” Akamai said in a statement.
Thus far, Akamai said it has delivered more than twice the total video streaming traffic for 2018 (by the end of the second round) than it did for all of 2014, and that it has delivered more than 15 times the total video streaming traffic for 2018 (by the end of the second round) than it did for all of 2010.
“The data for this year’s World Cup shows the significant growth of live streaming video and its ability to support viewing experiences that are on par with and even better than those of traditional television. Audiences are getting bigger and their expectations are growing. Viewers are watching on more devices than ever at continuously higher levels of quality,” Akamai said.
While livestreaming is clearly a hit for this year’s World Cup, it’s still unclear how U.S. broadcast partner Fox is faring. In 2011, Fox and Telemundo won the U.S. rights for the 2018 and 2022 men’s World Cups for a combined $1 billion. That total was more than double the $425 million that ESPN and Univision paid together for the U.S. rights to the 2010 and 2014 men’s World Cups—and of that total, ESPN paid $100 million.
But the U.S. men’s team not making the tournament and time differences with Russia (where the World Cup is being held this year) make for less excitement and less than convenient start times in the U.S.