Web scores online campaign for World Cup

MEXICO CITY — Televisa, the world’s largest producer of Spanish-language content, is readying an aggressive online campaign to transmit 30 soccer games from World Cup 2010 across much of Latin America through its Televisa Interactive Media online unit and Televisadeportes.com website.

While the conglom expects revenues from online games to pull in about $15 million, far less than what it is likely to receive from televised coverage, the move represents one small piece of the web’s major investment in online development.

Early last month, Televisa announced it was planning to spend $450 million to upgrade its Mexico City cable network alone, hoping to win over clients from telco giant Telmex with plans to offer top speeds of 6 megabytes per second by 2012.

The World Cup scheme got a recent boost with the announcement that the match between Mexico and host country South Africa, which will take place in Johannesburg, would open the games June 11 at 9 a.m. Mexico City time.

“This is great timing with high network traffic expected for game time. … It could break a record for number of visitors,” a company spokesman says.

In order to expand the brand across the region for the World Cup, TIM prexy Juan Saldivar von Wuthenau says the division has to adapt to the speed and bandwidth available to users in each territory on a network-by-network basis.

Televisa Interactive’s online sports efforts seem fruitful so far.

In the 14 months since its inception, its sports website has generated 1.35 billion page views from 45 million unique users.

On the 120 sites that TIM uses across the region, there have been 450 million page visits and 15 million unique users.

The agreement between the world’s soccer governing body, FIFA, and TIM will allow Televisa to broadcast the 30 live games at no cost to users on some 120 sister sites across the region — except Argentina and Brazil — in addition to millions of users here in Mexico.

The online component will be backed by free-to-air transmission as well as VOD in the same territories, according to its agreement with FIFA.

Televisadeportes.com also will present 90 classic games that include the final matches of the last 12 World Cup series and 11 all-time-best games with the original Televisa narration under a “Retro” category, starting March 3.

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