Net-only broadcast for World Cup qualifier

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The Independent Online
(Relaxnews) -

The upcoming World Cup qualifier between England and Ukraine this Saturday is to be an internet-only broadcast in the UK for the first time, from prices of £4.99 upwards.

Interestingly, a number of European, African, Oceanic and Far Eastern countries are not automatically excluded from the online broadcast for international viewers, according to the official website ukrainevengland.com.

Although Performgroup have enjoyed recent success with online broadcasts of UEFA cup matches, many UK football fans appear hesitant to migrate to an online-only model after facing quality issues with previous rights holders Setanta. Additionally, the match will not be available to watch communally in pubs as satellite and terrestrial broadcasts usually are.

Despite the fact that a win for England means World Cup qualification, uptake for the game is as yet uncertain. Performgroup are therefore offering reduced prices of £4.99 ($7.95 / €5.45) for those that book before Thursday in order to generate interest, with prices rising to £9.99 on Thursday and then £11.99 on Saturday prior to kick-off at 4:15pm GMT.

Setanta Sports had been the original broadcast rights holder, but after it went into administration earlier this year the Ukrainian football authorities asked sports rights agency Kentaro to find another broadcaster. However, after speaking with traditional UK broadcasters no deal had been struck, so online specialist Performgroup were instructed to show the match on a pay-per-view basis. Both Kentaro and Performgroup appear confident that the online broadcast will be of a high quality, although in order to do this they will limit subscriber numbers to one million.

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