Watching Euro2008 on Zattoo in the heart of the BBC

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 1 July 2008

As you may have spotted in my post about last week's TechCrunch / BBC debate at Broadcasting House, I attended it with one eye on what was going on in Basel. Thanks to wifi in the art deco Council Chamber where the debate was taking place, I was able to stream the first Euro2008 semi-final between Germany and Turkey silently on my laptop.

Streaming Euro2008 within Broadcasting House

The thing that struck me was that I used Zattoo to watch the game. At 7:40pm, I realised that I hadn't remembered to find out whether the game was being broadcast on BBC One or on ITV1. No worries, I thought, instead of fumbling about looking for schedules, I'll just pop Zattoo on, and flick between the channels.

Zattoo channel line-up

This was by the far the most direct route to getting to see the match. The BBC's homepage was promoting coverage of the semi-final, but the call-to-action was very much to watch it on BBC One, with no mention that the game was being streamed on the web by the BBC.

The BBC's semi-final homepage promo

In fact, when I did test the BBC's own stream of the game, I did so by following a small text link on the minute-by-minute text commentary page.

Text commentary from the Euro 2008 semi-final on bbc.co.uk

I had the two streams open at the same time at one point, and I noted that Zattoo were marginally ahead in relaying the pictures from BBC One than the BBC's own infrastructure was.

Two Euro 2008 semi-final streams - Zattoo is just ahead of the BBC

Neither service, though, evaded the picture black-out from Austria and Switzerland which blighted coverage of the game around the world!

BBC One coverage failure

1 Comment

Good to know you were paying attention, Martin.

(Being fair, you were the only person who admitted to coding in perl, so I guess you were really).

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