Much has been written about World Cup’s programming on ESPN and Univision, from its record-breaking ratings to multiplatform viewing to original programming surrounding the tournament. But what about the efforts MVPDs have taken? They were smart to take full advantage as well. Here’s how some of the country’s top distributors have worked to reach consumers during the month-long soccer celebration.
Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable has targeted its Spanish-speaking audience through a spot on Univision and its YouTube channel. Other promotions include offering free calls to Mexico. Subs with TWC phone can make calls to Mexico for free—including landline and mobile numbers—with its Unlimited Home Phone National Plan. The MSO is also offering grouped network feeds—which it did for the Sochi Olympics with success—so all of the coverage from Brazil will be in one section of the channel lineup. And of course, there’s access to World Cup TV Everywhere content through the WatchESPN and UVideos apps.
Bright House Networks
Bright House Networks has partnered with ESPN to use its 2014 FIFA World Cup Central App on its Facebook wall, which has a sweepstakes component and daily emails that highlight the World Cup schedule. The app itself shows highlights and schedule for the day as well. The MSO is also heavily promoting its On Demand and WatchESPN viewing, written several blog entries and promoted them on its Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages, and engage with customers who mention BHN and World Cup together on social platforms. It’s also promoting the tournament with Facebook ads.
Cox has created a dedicated landing page for all things World Cup (www.cox.com/soccer), made digital ad buys, sent emails to customers reminding them to use and authenticate with ESPN and Univision apps and promoted engagement across its social channels. In some markets, Cox has created channel blocks similar to Time Warner Cable’s. Customers are able to flip consecutively through all the networks that are showing matches. For instance, all ESPN networks and Univision networks are grouped together in its Arizona market.
Similar to its Olympics companion app, Comcast has added a section on its X1 Sports app that’s specific to the World Cup. It’s also offering Instant On Demand on Xfinity TV, for X1 and traditional set-tops. The MSO first started testing it in certain markets for the Olympics, according to a spokesperson. While normally you need to wait 24 hours to watch a game that’s passed, the service makes an On Demand asset available immediately after broadcast. The company is working with Univision games only at this point, but it will continue to evolve and roll out additional services. It’s the first time this has been done with the Spanish-speaking audience, as well as on a grand scale.
Other features for the Spanish-speaking demo include the Xfinity Latino Entertainment Channel (XLEC), a free Spanish-language channel available for free in 20 million homes and focused on all things World Cup during the tournament. Links to matches, simulcasts of special Brazil 2014 programming, daily news, photos and more. news crawl, daily news updates, video and photos, results, standings and more. The 2014 World Cup will also be feature the MVPD’s SEEiT feature, which lets customers tune in to a match from Twitter or set a reminder to watch or record a future one.
DirecTV has created a five-screen mosaic viewing experience for the first time as well as an interactive portal in Spanish. It launched a consumer sweepstakes in which two winners will get a viewing party for the tournament’s final games, and eight more winners will get official World Cup soccer balls.
From a social perspective, the satcaster is active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, leveraging the assets of DirecTV Latin America, including photos for Twitter and quick Instagram videos.
It’s offering a new app, along with an updated sports mix. The app allows you to see the full schedule, organized by date or groups, see a bracket-level overview of the entire tournament, access an exclusive USA section with the latest updates, and, for customers with the appropriate package, a Portuguese version of the app is available. The sports mix features every live World Cup broadcast in multiple languages, a two-cell sports mix with on-air concurrent matches, and a Univision multi-view mix, which includes a Univision-network broadcast along with four additional camera angels.