Tag: world cup

TV makers convince themselves about sporting sales boost

With major sports events drawing in massive numbers of viewers, TV manufacturers often latch on with promotional deals to rake in extra cash with tie-ins.

This year Toshiba piggy-backed on the Rugby World Cup with a deal which involved those purchasing a TV set receiving £1 cash back for each point egg-chaser Toby Flood scored. It is often the case that manufacturers target those with a plan to camp out in the living room for that year’s World Cup, Wimbledon or whichever event occurs at the start of that summer.

This year, of course, it is the London Olympics that we can probably expect TV firms to hype up, presumably offering a quid back for every shot of Kate and Wills, or toilet stop by Paula Radcliffe this year.

According to DigiTimes though, despite a major seven year replacement cycle reaching its end this year at the Olympics, there is unlikely to be a big rush to buy up brand new products.

This is partly due to the ongoing global financial woes, sources say, which mean that the cash just won’t be available for upgrades.  Industry sources also reckon that the popularity of handheld mobile devices will temper demand, with increased interest in watching on an iPad than on a sparkly new TV set.

TechEye approached high street TV vendors which said that despite the interest in sporting events they did not necessarily see massive changes in consumer spending.  According to Dixons, sales staff there is a “slight increase” in the amount of TVs sold around the time of sporting events but no major impact.  Both Currys and Dixons expect that promotions will be ramped up around the time.

According to display expert at Meko, Bob Raikes, this is just part of a self-fulfilling prophecy where the industry splashes out on advertising – inevitably leading to increases in sales – rather than a natural spike in consumer spending.

“It is basically a fable in the industry that there is an increase,” Raikes told TechEye.  “Every two years there is either a World Cup or a European Championships and Olympics, but it is basically wrong that it causes that much of an impact. It does have some impact but this is mainly because the belief in the industry that it has an effect leads to greater advertising around this period.”

Raikes says the second quarter of the year is typically quite quiet, “but these major sporting events bring about a change in seasonal pattern, with sales being moved forward from the third quarter to the second instead.”

Raikes believes, however, that the current increase in sales could make even less of an impact in the long term: “If you go back maybe five, but certainly ten, years ago the main way to watch events was at home.  Now there are more sports bars and there is a big increase in the amount of people attending large screenings of events.

“This could serve to further lessen the effect of those buying sets for a sporting event as the people who are likely to attend a big screening are also likely to be those who would buy specifically for an event.”


TV sales drop in Q3

European TV sales fell by 8.6 percent to 16.4 million in the third quarter of 2010.

That’s according to Meko’s latest DisplayCast report, which also found that flat panel sell-in
quantity was down quarterly to 15.3 million TV sets. TV shipments were up to 24 percent of volume sales from 19 percent in quarter two.

Goksen Sertler, senior analyst for the TV market at Meko, told TechEye that the drop in sales were due to the World Cup. “People bought their TVs in Q2 in anticipation for the World Cup. This accelerated sales in this quarter but also caused a lack of spending in Q3 because people had already bought their TV sets the previous quarter.”

However, it’s not all bad news with the research finding that the EMEA TV market increased by 2.15 percent over the same quarter last year, while flat panel shipments of LCD and PDP TVs rose by 6.1 percent.

Ms Sertler also told TechEye that Western Europe would see an increase in sales next year, despite this quarter being a bad one for Spain, France, the UK and Italy.

TV sell-in shipments to Spain were down by 40 percent quarter on quarter.

She said the fall was predictable: “In the first quarter, sell-in to Spain was pushed up because of digital switch over. In the second quarter, World Cup promotions kept the demand strong. After two consecutive strong quarters, it was no surprise to see very weak sell-in”.

She added, “Our regular inventory tracking data showed us that there was a lot of inventory in the market already at the beginning of Q3. Set and panel makers are keen to sell the more expensive sets with LED backlights, but there is some consumer resistance to current pricing levels.”

TV brand ranking was the same as in the previous quarter with Samsung, LG and Sony coming in as the top three positions followed by Philips and Panasonic.

Brits spent £250 billion online in last 10 years

People in the UK spent a whopping £250 billion online within the last 10 years, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

With a population of around 60 million that would mean every single UK citizen would have had to spend over £4,000 online over the last decade. Considering the broadband structure in the UK is so paltry we can be fairly certain that not everyone has managed to get online, never mind set up an eBay account.

In fact, less than ten percent of Britons were shopping online in 2001, numbering only six million. They spent £1.8 billion then. The IMRG report showed a substantial growth in online sales since then, with 2010’s sales expected to hit the £56 billion mark. That’s an increase of over 3,100 percent over a 10 year period, averaging at around a 300 percent increase per year.

The recession had an impact on the UK’s online sales, reducing the growth from 35 percent in 2006 to 14 percent in dismal 2009. That is still a pretty healthy number, however, and is likely to increase as the economic situation turns around.

The World Cup meant alcohol sales did well, with the English boozing up via web-stores as they cheered their team on. We can only imagine how well the breweries would have done had the Irish team made it through.

Clothing and home items were also high on UK online shopping lists. With clothing often cheaper online than in local retailers that’s no surprise, but the huge sales for home and garden items are likely to fall now that a chunk of the population have lost their homes as the property bubble burst.

IMRG expects a 110 percent increase in the UK online market over the next ten years, bringing in £123 billion by 2020. Growth is expected to slump to six percent then as the market matures and levels off.

Mobile sales are to become the next big thing that will win over hard-earned British Pounds, according to IMRG. With the rise in popularity of smartphones and tablets this is not surprising.

“Britons are passionate about shopping online. The combination of ease, convenience and 24/7 access is incredibly compelling,” said James Roper, CEO of IRMG.

FIFA top dog Sepp Blatter says "Oops, sorry!"

FIFA has come back to the world with its tail kind of between its legs after the disastrous referee mistakes made during last Sunday’s England vs Germany and Mexico vs Argentina matches which left fans worldwide appalled. 

Sepp Blatter, FIFA President, has at long last said that perhaps there’s a place in football for goal line technology, in the case of near-sighted and half-blind referrees such as Sunday’s. His official word is that it would be “nonsense” not to consider using the technology, but he also said that it would only be for goal line decisions and not for other potentially controversial calls like dodgy offsides, reports Reuters

“It is obvious that after the experiences so far at this World Cup it would be nonsense not to re-open the file on goal line technology,” Blatter blathered. He said that he and his cohorts would look at the technology again at the business meeting of the next law-making International Football Association Board in Wales this July.

However, goal line technology makes it far less easy to take bungs, and we think for this reason it’ll never see the light of day – not for official rulings, anyway. As a friend of TechEye’s told us last Sunday as we all – except our Scottish editor – cried into our pints: 

“The thing is, if you introduce goal line technology, it deprives us of our favourite hobby: complaining. The lack of goal line technology on Sunday’s game was a total win-win for England, especially the families who flew out to South Africa because they get to complain even more than the rest of us.”

Here’s a video of Lampard’s disallowed goal, in case anyone needed a reminder.

Haphazard hacks at Daily Mail post a malware World Cup video

The Daily Mail has suffered another fail. This time by directing readers on its site to a link containing a malware-infected web page.

The newspaper already messed up over the weekend by running a story claiming that Apple would recall the iPhone 4. However, it was later found that the paper hadn’t checked facts. It had simply taken a parody Twitter account seriously.

And now it also seems it doesn’t check its external links properly either. According to Sunbelt Software, the paper inadvertently carried a link to a malware-infected web page via a video clip of Sunday’s England v Germany World Cup match.

The link, which pops up over the video, claims to show readers how to hack into Facebook accounts. However, it actually  redirects them to a fake survey page which purported to offer users the hacking software – infected with malware – in return for handing over information that could also be used for identity theft and hacking your own email and social networking accounts.

Christopher Boyd, senior threat researcher at Sunbelt Software, told TechEye: “In their coverage of the England Vs Germany match, [The Daily Mail] seemingly grabbed the first random Youtube clip they could get their hands on. Unfortunately for them, it was this one.”

And it seems Spamblog, the site users were redirected to, made some gains as a result of the Daily Mail’s reader click-throughs. Christopher told us that it had 200 hits today, before the link was removed by the paper, and 17000 in total from when the link had been posted. It had also seen a traffic increase of 50 percent from last week.

“That would explain the traffic spike for the spamblog, and also why Youtube have pulled it – looking at the comments from the article, it seems many readers with Youtube accounts have reported the video,” he said.

“It’s pretty harmless now, but I must admit to being baffled how someone could miss the large red box with the “Hack Facebook accounts” text in it.”


England paralysed by small Balkan country

The United Kingdom has ground to a halt after being paralysed by a small Balkan nation at 3pm today.

We don’t know what the deal is, but offices have been abandoned and people are ignoring our calls even more than usual.

Office buildings are vacant and a walk around town is mysteriously quiet, save for bizarre, ritual chanting from cryptically named buildings such as “The Montague Pyke” around Tottenham Court Road and “The Knights Templar” just off of Fleet Street. The chanting is interrupted by irregular shouting, whooping and hollering.

We heard rumours that some of our mates at Octopus Comms are out of the office. When we called up to see what was going on, they just kept trying to discuss our goals with us – we’re baffled.

Business hasn’t been this quiet since the Ash Cloud appeared over Europe after a volcano called something like Eieahrnikengalieatjeiltrjwylwrjylrkstrleyrketyley erupted. 

But what’s the story here? As far as we’re aware, flights are still operating and business should be usual. A source who did not want to be named mentioned something about Slovenia. 

Twitter and Google join in on World Cup

The South Africa World Cup 2010 has started and Twitter and Google are both joining in the festivities.

Twitter has created an official Twitter feed that looks pretty snazzy and allows users to keep up-to-date with how well their country is doing. Flags for the 32 participating countries are available at the top to filter results, while the main feed features past, current, and upcoming matches, along with top tweets about all things footie.

The omnipresent Google is also keen to stay in on the action. It has teamed up with FIFA to create its own live feeds of World Cup results.

Google is offering a new FIFA Chrome extension that lets users pick their team and deck out their web browser in their country’s colours.

When searching for results from the matches Google will display the latest scores and schedules with a new search widget. This can be added via iGoogle Gadgets to your Google homepage to ensure ready access to the latest World Cup news and results.

For anyone in South Africa for the footie FIFA and the South African Tourism board have added lots of info to Google Maps for host cities, stadiums, and other details that might make the long trek around South Africa a bit easier and more enjoyable.

The Twitter page can be found here. The Google page can be found here.

Third of Brits will watch World Cup online

A survey by PC World has revealed that a third of the UK plans to watch the World Cup online rather than on the telly or in a violent pub.

It’s thought that fans will also keep informed and view on the go via smartphones, with four in ten Brits saying they’ll watch as they’re moving about. Thanks to the unavoidable presence of technology everywhere, just under half of those surveyed are expecting they’ll miss fewer games than the 2006 World Cup.

Replays of the games will be watched online by just 10 percent of those surveyed, which seems odd to us as they will be available on the BBC iPlayer and iTV for a week after each match, leaving the choice up to the viewer instead of having to put red circles all over the TV guide.

The survey of 3,000 people also pointed out that tons of fans will be checking in on social networks, with – surprise – Facebook and Twitter being the most popular way to chat about the World Cup.

Web Root however reports that with the popularity of streaming video, fans should be on the look out for scam sites. A site doing the rounds at the moment is called Live Sports Network, which charges potential mugs $29.97 for unlimited access to all the matches. The site says included are “3,000 + premium TV channels” and “800+ premium movie channels” all on a “comfortable interface”. When you sign up, you’re presented with just a couple of links to streaming video feeds that are free already.

World Cup malware kicks off on the net

A security company is warning people that certain World Cup links on sites such as Twitter and Facebook may lead people to infected video feeds.

According to CyberDefender if users click on the infected links, which are also being found on Google and Digg, they can inadvertently download malware, spyware, viruses and  Trojans.

It warned footie fans to also avoid websites offering the chance to win “free” tickets to the World Cup claiming these should not be trusted either, but that’s just a bit of common sense really.

People who click on links found on Google/Twitter/Facebook/Digg are re-directed to websites that suggest they can play and win these tickets  but with the caveat that they have to enter their phone numbers. It said that doing this however will result in a recurring charge.

In other instances users are re-directed to splash pages linked to supposedly free games but that are known for spam practices

 To ensure people keep safe online during the World Cup it recommends footie fans stick to branded sports sites like ESPN and Sports Illustrated and avoid sites offering free games, especially if related to promises of free tickets. We don’t know if Sports Illustrated’s cheque to CyberDefender is in the post.

BA flying near empty airplanes, union claims

Sources working for BA told TechEye that despite claims from the company that it is operating 80 percent of flights during the strike of cabin crew, some flights are empty, or near to empty..

The BA employee spoke under conditions of anonymity, because if BA staff speak to the press without authorisation they face instant dismissal.

BA, in a statement on its corporate website, says that the strike is costing £7 million a day. “During the final strike period we have planned for an increased flying programme as more crew ignore the strike and report for duty. We have announced that we are planning to fly about 80 percent of our longhaul programme including all JFK services and also all South African flights as we approach the World Cup.”

But that’s contradicted by BASSA, the division of Unite that represents BA cabin crew.

A representative told TechEye: “We have people working on the tarmac in various roles who are reporting flights going on 747 aircraft with less than 30 passengers.”

She said: “Willie Walsh is telling the press that he is flying 80 percent of the operation with his ‘army’ of volunteers. That I can assure you is not true. Many of the volunteers do not want to fly at all but are being coerced into doing it.”

She continued: “When the final offer was made to BA by the union, Walsh said that it was still £10,000,000 short of the required savings needed from cabin crew. To date the strike has cost £140,000,000 [using] BA’s own figure of £7,000,000 a day.”

Willie Walsh, BA’s CEO, has branded the strike a failure and claimed it had flown 72,000 people yesterday.

The BASSA representative said: “There are all sorts of claims and counter claims being made by both sides, but you can be sure that the airline is NOT getting away 80% of its flights or its passengers. At the very best, very few passengers, are enjoying a very inadequate service.” She claimed that the England World Cup soccer team flew to South Africa on Virgin, rather than BA.