World Cup report-pre final recap

World Cup 2018: It’s the final countdown

World Cup 2018 is a milestone for online video, as viewership breaks streaming records.  We’re thrilled to bring this exciting football experience to viewers worldwide with prominent national and international networks in Europe and Latin America, including TF1, and help broadcasters handle the huge-scale traffic surges. We also couldn’t be happier to do so while France gets closer to bringing home the sought-after title.

More than two weeks into the World Cup, 18.8 million viewers watched 62 games via Streamroot. With 648K concurrent viewers per stream, at 72% peer-to-peer traffic, we offloaded over 1.26 Tbps from the global internet backbone, relieving congestion and providing a smoother streaming experience to football fans across the world.

Right before the tournament reaches its final stage, we’d like to share with you some insights from the past two weeks – from the Round of 16 to the semi-finals.

Most Popular games (not what you’d expect)

Our World Cup games stats reveal interesting insights into viewers’ behavior, which might seem curious to some of you. The most popular games viewed via Streamroot during the tournament so far are:

  1. France vs. Uruguay
  2. Colombia vs. England
  3. France vs. Belgium

According to our World Cup stats, France vs. Uruguay attracted the highest number of unique viewers to date. Surprisingly, the much-talked-about France vs. Belgium semi-final only comes in third, after the Round of 16’s Colombia vs. England match. As you may have noted, two of our top three are games where a European team faced a Latin American team. This makes a lot of sense, as our biggest world Cup customers are based in Europe and in Latin America. But how come the semi-final, the latest stage before the final game – is only the third most popular match?

While the semi-final was broadcasted in the evening – starting between 7pm to 9pm in Europe, many viewers chose to watch the game with friends, in front of their TVs or in crowded bars where they can join other fans to cheer for their team. This means fewer devices viewed the online stream in Europe. The France vs. Uruguay match aired on Friday during business hours – between 3pm and 5pm across Europe, and between 9am and 11am across Latin America. This means that to watch the game, fans mainly watched online from their computer or mobile device, which translates to more concurrent viewers per stream. And while the Colombia vs. England game started between 7pm to 9pm across Europe (attracting fewer viewers on digital streams), it proved to be highly popular across Latin America – where it started between 1pm and 3pm, with more people connecting via streaming platforms.

A look into the Semi-finals

Though the semi-finals were not the most watched games on digital platforms, our customers enjoyed significant CDN offload thanks to Streamroot CDN Mesh Delivery (formerly known as Streamroot DNA) distributed delivery. During the semi-final stage, one of our European customers had 63.3% of its traffic delivered by Streamroot, while a customer in Eastern Europe achieved an impressive 87.6% offload. In LATAM, one of our customers benefited from 70.3% delivered via our peer-to-peer network.

The viewing patterns of the two semi-final matches are interesting to note. Once again, without looking at the titles, can you guess which one’s which?

Croatia - England

Viewership during  the France vs. Belgium game peaked at the second half, reflecting  the suspense following the French goal at the 51st minute. We can also easily spot the England vs. Croatia game that sees traffic peak during the extra time when the Croatian underdog took the world by surprise.

We can’t wait to see who takes home the title this weekend (#allezlesbleus), and to ensure that fans everywhere  enjoy a smooth live sports streaming experience during Sunday’s Final.

Allez les Bleus!

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