On Friday morning I was getting ready for work and about to leave my house when I realized that the first game of the world cup had just started between Germany and Costa Rica. I decided to turn on the TV and caught the game just as it was starting. I was able to catch the first 15 minutes which was long enough to watch Germany score their first goal which was quite nice.
On my way to work I was thinking that there had to be a way to watch the games on the internet. I knew that the BBC had the exclusive rights to stream them online and were only doing so in the UK. But I know that with current technology and hoardes people wanting to watch the games there would have to be a method to do so online.
I started my usual morning ritual of getting my coffee and reading my RSS feeds and found this interesting story on Digg. As I read the comments I came across one that mentioned the ability to view the games by using P2P-TV. The post mentioned the names of several sites / software.
So I immediately went into research mode. I found my way to all of the ones mentioned as well as several others. I tried several of them but it quickly became clear that the one I liked the most was SopCast. Main reason being is that most of the other clients and sites were in Chinese which made them difficult to use. SopCast is in English.
After downloading the client, I quickly installed it and tuned in to sports channel CCTV5. Within seconds I was watching the 2nd game between Poland and Ecuador. The stream was great. It was a decent resolution and steady without any pauses or lockups.
Needless to say I was very happy to sneak in some game time while at work. Needless to say, productivity will definitely be a little lower for the next month. Here is a great site with a guide to watch streaming sports including soccer (football) for free to get you started. And there is another good one here.
Update 6/14 After reading several more posts on this subject and testing myself. I now also recommend the TVU Player along with Sopcast. The client is also in English and appears to provide a higher resolution image as well as have channels that broadcast in English.
Update 6/21 Several people have been asking about a Mac P2P-TV client. I’m not aware of any but keep in mind that if you are on a Mac that there is a site that has the TVU player embedded so you can watch from a browser. The site is called Viidoo and you can view it here. Sopcast also has an embedded player available on their site here