As the country looks breathlessly forward to Australia’s first World Cup game against Chile, not all Australians realise the size of the football tsunami that is about to hit them in their very living rooms.
Of course all of Australia’s games will be covered live and in full. But that’s just a small portion of what the World Cup’s exclusive broadcaster, SBS, will offer. It will be the biggest ever, simply breathtaking in its breadth and scope.
On television alone, 700 hours of World Cup or World Cup-related content will be broadcast. This is unprecedented, and a long way from SBS’s first exclusive coverage, in 1990, when it beamed out under 200 hours.
You will see all 64 games live, in replay, on demand and augmented by preview, review and analysis. No stone will be left unturned.
Special attention will be paid to the Socceroos, with a daily show dedicated to the Australian effort, beamed from the Australian camp in Victoria.
Online and on your mobile device, not only will every game be streamed live but you will be able to watch every game on demand and even select the bits you want to see, whether it be a Tim Cahill header or a Cristiano Ronaldo step-over.
On radio you will hear every match described live in two languages, English and that of one of the countries involved. And you will be able to save the commentaries as podcasts so you can listen to them again and again to your heart’s content.
Here’s a summary of what you will be subjected to:
The World Cup will be covered across no less than ten, yes ten, programming streams.
- All 64 games live. When games coincide both will be live across two channels.
- Match replays, including the Match of the Day every day.
- The World Cup Show. A daily one hour review and preview show screened in prime Australian time from SBS’ Rio studio. This is where Craig Foster and I will try to synthesize just exactly what is going on and how the World Cup is unfolding.
- The Socceroos Show. Daily, hosted by David Basheer, from wherever the Socceroos are at the time.
- World Cup Morning News. A morning catch-up, before you set off for work, on what has happened in Brazil overnight.
- FIFA Preview Show. A daily focus on the games ahead with match previews and team and player profiles.
- Daily live crosses to Brazil and reports on SBS World News Australia.
- Road to 2014 World Cup. Already running.
- The Full Brazilian. A daily entertainment show, hosted by comedian Jimeoin.
- This is Brazil. Already running, a weekly series, hosted by Fernanda de Paula, on Brazil, its lifestyle, culture and history.
Online and mobile devices
- All games streamed live.
- All games available on demand.
- Interactive smart phone and tablet app, available on iOS and Android.
- Match highlights.
- Clips of all goals.
- Half time highlights in every live game.
- Profiles of all 32 teams.
- Player profiles.
- Venue profiles.
- News reports.
- Opinion pieces by SBS experts and commentators.
- Streaming of press conferences and mixed zone interviews.
Live commentary of all games in two languages, English and that of one of the competing countries. Commentaries can be saved as postcards and listened to on demand.
This, I am prepared to claim, is the broadest coverage of the World Cup anywhere in the world. And it’s all free, no subscription fee required.
SBS will have four teams of reporting personnel on the ground in Brazil: one in Rio, one with the Socceroos and two more roaming the country filing reports.
SBS will have two dedicated match commentators: David Basheer, who will call Australia’s games, and the inimitable icon, Martin Tyler. Tyler, who was in the ESPN stable four years ago, will return to work exclusively for SBS this time. It will be his sixth World Cup for SBS.
SBS TV’s dedicated studio will overlook Rio’s iconic Copacabana Beach, whose promenade, the Avenida Atlantica, will be an official fan fest venue with up to a million fans expected to line the avenue on some match days.
From your armchair you may not be able to reach out and grab a chop (draught beer) or a caipirinha but you will be as close as you can get to Brazil without being there.
Let the feast begin.