I’m not an avid football (soccer) fan and only watch the sport when the World Cup comes up every four years. But this time around I was presented with a dilemma because, although I was born in England, I’m descended from Welsh parents and live in Argentina, where the sport is a religious event, but back to that emotive subject later on.
Cable, Satellite, Internet?
For the World Cup 2018 in Russia, we were still using cable TV (Cablevision) and watched all the games through ESPN in full HD and there’s no denying the quality of cable TV. Furthermore, there’s no delay and as far as I remember, language options for commentary were also available. Fast forward a couple of years and due to rising costs, not to mention the acquisition of a Smart TV, we decided to cut the cable and go Internet only. After all, neither of us is a sports fanatic except for the rugby and football World Cups. But that presented a problem for us this year because live sport isn’t available on Netflix, HBO, Star+, or any of the other channels we subscribe to. When we cut the cable I hadn’t really taken live sport into account and even if we could watch the football on Internet services, would the live stream be plagued by buffering and time-outs? As it happens, this populist Argentine government bends over backward to bring football to the masses as a way of distracting from their corruption and ineptitude, so the World Cup is broadcast live on TV Publica (public TV) which is free to everyone within Argentine territory.
Anyway, I may loathe this government, but I’m not about to cut off my nose to spite my face, so tuned in to the channel through a PC connected to our TV, and I must say that the live stream is impeccable, with only a slight delay. However, the channel is sharing the games with a pay-per-view sports channel known as TyC which, as it happened, was available in a streaming pack through our ISP, so I signed up for it straight away. Well, it stands to reason that both services would be of a very high standard because so many people nowadays stream content through their cell phones, tablets, Smart TVs, and PCs.
As I mentioned earlier, football in Argentina is taken with a passion I have never seen or experienced before and one has to remember that Diego Armando Maradona is revered as God-like, for very good reason. Football commentary is so passionate that commentators will openly cry real tears and when an Argentine goal is scored, gooooool! is shouted several times through the microphone with such passion that you may be mistaken for witnessing the second coming of Christ.
But here’s the funny part – as I was watching Argentina play Australia, I needed a break from the tension in the living room, so went for a short walk in the deserted and ominously quiet streets outside our house. Within a few minutes I heard an enormous roar and cheers coming from the neighbouring houses, but nothing from ours, so I rushed back inside, shouted “Goal!” and a few seconds later, Argentina scored their second goal. I’m only mentioning this because clearly there is a delay with some streaming services which can be quite amusing, depending on which team you’re supporting of course.
In conclusion, clearly live sports streaming is here to stay and our experience has so far been excellent, even during a mammoth thunderstorm last night in the closing minutes of the Argentina – Holland game which, incidentally, shredded the nerves of the entire country.
On the other hand, it’s good to have a backup, so if the Internet cables pictured above were to come down in a storm, we could at least stream over 4G on our cell phones and cast to the TV. Or in the event of a total power failure, we could all huddle around a cell phone in the dark.
3 thoughts on “How Are You Watching The World Cup?”
Yes Marc, we are getting many of the FIFA games with an over the air antenna and the Hauppauge TV Tuner. Impressed with the signal quality. Best way to watch being free and the only breaks occur at half time unlike Hockey and American Football with lots of commercials to skip/jump, Mindblower!
Marc. Hope you were/are able to watch the final game. We even watched till the medals were awarded. First time watching and very impressed, Mindblower!
I’m writing another article on how the tournament ended, so stay tuned!