As we approach the biggest football tournament of all, footie fans all over the UK are likely to be upgrading to 4G to be sure they can stream matches live from wherever they happen to be. EE, the official mobile network of the England team, has highlighted the benefits of 4G during the World Cup in its new advertising campaign. The ad shows Kevin Bacon, the face of EE, streaming a football match whilst riding The Big One roller coaster in Blackpool.
This year’s World Cup looks like it will be a truly multiscreen event, with football fans streaming live matches to their 4G smartphones and tablets. The race is on in Brazil to ensure that their 4G infrastructure is ready in time to provide mobile internet to the millions of fans that will be descending on the country, and all host cities with a population of more than 500,000 are supposed to support universal 4G coverage by 31st May 2014.
A recent survey conducted by Instant.ly on behalf of YuMe has shown how popular live streaming on 4G is likely to be in the UK during the World Cup. The highlights of the survey showed that:
- 11% of viewers plan to stream matches live on a smartphone
- 22% of viewers plan to stream matches live on a tablet
- 23% of viewers intend to watch highlights on their smartphone
- 59% agree that the ability to view on multiple devices means they will see more matches
- 74% of viewers will be watching matches away from home
EE’s World Cup 4G Ad Campaign
Airing for the first time this week, EE’s new TV commercial shows Kevin Bacon riding The Big One roller coaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which is the tallest roller coaster in the UK. A boy who is riding in the same carriage asks if Kevin is nervous, and he replies with a baffling answer including a lot of football jargon.
Viewers eventually realise that he is explaining whether he is nervous about the football match that he is at that moment streaming on his 4G phone. As the rollercoaster picks up speed the boy shouts “I’m closing my eyes for this bit,” and Kevin replies “Very wise – they’ve got a free kick from the edge of our box!”
According to Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at EE, “EE’s 4G network now covers a massive 70% of the UK population, so our customers can enjoy a far superior internet experience on the go in more places than ever before – which is great news, especially in a tournament year when quality streaming will be in high demand. Our recently announced lead partnership with Wembley Stadium also means we are an official supplier to The FA Cup, and the England team’s official mobile network.”
Streaming football matches is a popular activity among EE customers according to the Mobile Living Index for the second half of 2013. EE reports a 10% upsurge in network traffic when popular premier league football matches are televised, as its customers stream matches live using Sky Go or other services. The network also sees an 11pm surge in network activity when Match of the Day and Sky’s football highlights shows are broadcast.
With coverage of World Cup matches being streamed live to 4G smartphones and tablets across the country, the tournament is likely to give a welcome boost to all the UK’s 4G networks.