FIFA was founded in Paris back in 1904, its foundation act was signed by the countries of Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, with the inclusion of the already active English Football Association and anticipation of going international. It was first televised in 1954 and has grown to be the world’s most widely viewed sporting event-exceeding even the Olympic Games and encompasses 1/9 of the world population.
This year’s FIFA is equipped with 21st century technology in the form of GoalControl’s implemented total of 14 goal line cameras that will, well, watch the goal lines for scores and blocks by the goalies. Although there is no way to reverse a referee’s decision, even after review of the play, the precise replays and coverage by sportscasters is widely accepted and anticipated by FIFA’s hundreds of millions of fans. FIFA.com’s live video stream is available in most all of the European countries, and many countries in Asia. On YouTube, there have already been over 1.6billion views of soccer content within the last 30 days! Here in the US, ESPN has taken seniority as they are showing the entire tournament via television, Internet, smartphone, and desktop/laptop. BBC has the iPlayer for online coverage of the games while both BBC and ITV are broadcasting for UK via television with online streaming on ITV encountering high streaming volumes and bandwidth-related complications.
Brazil is the most successful nation in FIFA history with a total of 5 titles! Attendance numbers from Brazil’s 1950 hosting of the FIFA World Cup grew in attendees to 1,045,246 from the past year’s attendance number of 375,700. Being anointed as the host country of FIFA is a big privilege as the chairs of all participating countries come together to choose one host, which receives a lot of attention as an insincere act laced with corruption. This year, 12 host cities around Brazil will host tournament matches and some of the fans in the stadium jeer at president Dilma Rousseff in the name of misappropriation of funds and displacement of Brazil’s residents. While brands like Adidas, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola sponsor and capitalize, bringing in over $11 billion dollars in revenue on the month-long tournament, citizens of Brazil call the World Cup a misappropriation of government funds. Strikes and protests note the stance of the citizens of Brazil, and their government responded with federal troops. Peaceful protesters mixed with masked individuals were confronted by police force that many say was too harsh. Many visitors believe that their protesting should have happened before FIFA broke ground on the seven new stadiums and remodeling of five existing ones. FIFA’s opening performance portrayed what people called a stereotypical depiction of the nation.
This year’s World Cup will not easily be forgotten. As it unfolds over the next few weeks, FIFA fans will have tuned in to online streaming through desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, while filling up sports bars and tuning in from home from over 200 countries and territories. The fan base will come together for support as we witness it broadcast live coupled with coverage by most all journalists in the world from one vantage point or another.