What Will Be Your Online Destinations During World Cup 2010?

South Africa FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup tickets

Many of us will wake up on Monday morning feeling slightly depressed that the 2009-10 Premier League season is over. All that’ll remain from the English football season will be the FA Cup Final, Europa League Final and playoff matches in the Football League. Not to diminish those exciting events, but many of us will be keeping one eye on the upcoming World Cup which will be just 32 days away.

I’m particularly excited about the 2010 World Cup because of the advancements in technology. This will be the first World Cup in HD. It’ll be the first Twitter World Cup. And technically the first Facebook World Cup. And, don’t forget, it’ll be the first World Cup for Apple iPhone users. The amount of information at our finger tips will be awesome and overwhelming at the same time. It’s going to be the most plugged-in World Cup in the history of the sport. A large part of that is because of the Internet.

It seems bizarre to think that it was only four years ago that the 2006 tournament was the first real time that the Internet embraced the World Cup. In 2002, the web was still reeling from the post dot-com bubble disaster. Plus the time difference between Asia and North America was horrible. We were lucky enough to watch the games in the middle of the night, let alone switch on the computer to follow the news. Four years prior to that, in 1998, the Internet was still so new that America Online (AOL) as well as Compuserve and other ISPs were our destinations. And any information we could glean about the World Cup was a precious commodity.

Thinking back, the 2006 World Cup was a trendsetter for a few different reasons. It was the birth of The Guardian’s daily The World Cup Show podcast starring James Richardson. The show would later morph into Football Weekly, one of the best soccer podcasts in the business. It was also a summer when I would argue that football blogs were born, or became massively popular. The two shining examples at the time were the BBC’s World Cup 2006 Blog and FoxSoccer.com‘s brilliant blog posts from their team who were on the ground in Germany. Fox’s bloggers extraordinaire that summer included Jamie Trecker, Nick Webster, Oliver Hinz and, back in North America, Bobby McMahon.

Other than those two blogs, The Guardian podcast and Phil McThomas’s trusty Soccer Shout podcast, and BBC’s Sport section, that was pretty much the lion share of sites I visited that glorious summer. Contrast that with this summer and the sheer quantity and quality of sites, blogs, iPhone apps, Facebook, Twitter and TV coverage, and you can quickly see how 2010 will be the biggest World Cup ever because people will be more connected. It’ll be everywhere.

But just as many of you have begun to make your plans regarding where and how you’ll watch the World Cup (if you haven’t, don’t worry — our sister site WorldCupBuzz.com will be providing plenty of helpful articles to guide you through the tournament), have you thought about what online destinations will you be visiting this summer to find the news, stories and analysis that you’ll crave? If you were a soccer fan during the 2006 World Cup, will the sites you visit this summer be different than four years ago or will you go back to those classics? Do you envision yourself consuming more of your World Cup news and content via mobile phone this summer?

Please share your valuable insight with me and the readers of EPL Talk in the comments section below. And feel free to share your memories of following previous World Cups online and what the experience was like. We’ve certainly come a long way.

20 thoughts on “What Will Be Your Online Destinations During World Cup 2010?”

  1. Gaffer,

    The 2006 World Cup was in HD on ESPN and ABC. I’m wondering if you mean this will be the first World Cup in 3D. I can’t wait to see that.


  2. “This will be the first World Cup in HD.”

    ’06 was in HD, not sure if ALL of it was but I am pretty sure almost all of it was.

  3. This will be the first World Cup that I have ever watched. I never cared about the sport until the last couple years, so I’ve never seen a World Cup. My online destination is going to be the World Football Daily podcast. Their normal shows are 90 minutes and so in depth with their correspondents and everything else. I can’t wait to see how they handle the show in a World Cup year.

  4. I plan to utilize the World Cup iPhone application regularly and I’m also excited about access to the matches through ESPN3.com. I will likely visit many of the same websites, including EPL Talk, however the iPhone application and ESPN3.com are key because they will keep me from having to orchestrate an extra long lunch and/or breakfast out of the office to watch the matches, as I had to do during the 2006 World Cup. I also think it will be great to have twitter and facebook to communicate with fellow fans of the beautiful game, a reality that wasn’t as widespread 4 years ago.

    With respect to the possible 3D coverage, I may have to pull up a chair at the local Best Buy to take advantage of that!

  5. Slightly off the topic, but looking at the picture sent a chill down my spine. I may be watching the WC in silence ( sound on for replays only). I simply can not take that drone match after match.

    1. I won’t go so far as to say I’ll be muting my TV, however I will be pissed off when they allow those stupid horns into the stadium. If it weren’t for the US’ great run in the Confederations Cup those horns would have ruined the tournament.

      1. i hear ya, ovalball ! I hate them vuvuzelas with passion …

        its almost as bad as paying the Time Warner Cable bill without any hope for Fox Soccer Channel HD in the near future …

        They will add Gol Tv to the Spanish package thou starting June 2 here in the Raleigh area….

        1. You might even get FSC HD or FS+ over there eventually. With the stadium in Cary and Eurosport in Hillsborough at least there is a soccer culture in the area that TW might pay attention to.

          Here in Beaufort, the next soccer fan I meet will be the first.

  6. Unfortunately the pre and post match coverage here in America is the s***s! So hopefully BBC Five Live coverage will be available without being blacked out on Iphone. I find the 5 Live’s coverage to be the most comprehensive and insightful, with excellent pundits.
    btw – anyone know how to get around the “rights restrictions” on the iphone or pc(mac) for Five Live?

  7. For me, it’ll be a combination of The Guardian’s blogs and coverage, the live matchcasts from Yahoo! Eurosport, and coverage on Twitter from the BBC writers like Phil McNulty and Caroline Cheese.

    And this will be my first World Cup since I really got into footsy post-WC2006

  8. http://onelovesoccer.webs.com/
    a good site with a good group of guys and no hating no matter who you root for
    one of the best fantasy/ prediction leagues Ive played(their will be WC fantasy and predictor) and the winner receives prizes(I can vouch first hand as Ive won from there before)
    go to the truth and rumor section, and find the most active thread, we never discuss the topic unless its good but come WC time it will basically be a chat room

  9. Not to sound like a wise man or anything, but to anyone new and old to the game here’s my simple piece of advice. Go out and watch the game in public places. Seriously. Go to see as many of the different games live and out at bars, pubs, big screens if fortunate enough. Anything. For those of us stuck inside at work having to rely on all these gadgets and gizmos, then this is a great thread.

    But after reading a couple people saying they’re new to the tournament or the game as a hole, to me, the most rewarding thing about soccer at times can be experiencing it with others. I’m in New York City, and when Greece plays I’ll definitely be in Astoria watching with the Greeks. Korea, in Korea town and so on. I can’t wait to share stories and cheer on my favorite and preferred country in each match that I’m lucky enough to watch out and about live. You’ll learn a whole lot more this way.

    All of this technology is great, but the best thing about the World Cup is all of us being brought together for better or even for worse.

    1. David, I completely agree — which is why EPL Talk will be hosting an official viewing party in South Florida for the USA v England game – and there’ll be more details to come. Watching the World Cup with other friends and strangers is ideal.

      Watch for more stories tapping into our tips on how to get the most out of the World Cup, very soon.

      The Gaffer

    2. Personally, I was going to watch the USA matches at home, maybe on my own, maybe have some family over. However, I’m really going to listen to your suggestions. I found an English pub about an hour away from me, run and staffed by English workers. I was there yesterday for some food, and they had ads up that they’re bringing in two large screens to show the match. I can’t think of a better place to watch the match in the USA than in a bar run by their opponents. Too bad I’ll be at work for the other two USA group stage matches, but this one I will be watching in public. Thanks a lot for your post.

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