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Where you can watch World Cup qualifying highlights

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Lewis Wiltshire | 10:11 UK time, Friday, 4 December 2009

Hello everyone,

When I blogged here in November I gave what I hoped was a nice hint that we'd have some exciting content ready for the day of the World Cup draw.

I wasn't able to actually say what we were planning, because the deal was not fully done, but when I said "'s definitely worth checking the site around the day of the draw for some content that ought to really whet the appetite ahead of football's greatest event ..." I was referring to video highlights of the qualifiying campaigns of all 31 teams (the 32nd, South Africa, did not have to qualify of course, as hosts).

However, sports rights is a devilishly complicated business, and therefore I need to explain what you can and cannot see on this website today, especially to users of the site outside the UK.

Inside the UK, you can watch video highlights of how all the teams reached South Africa, although the five African teams who had to qualify (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Algeria) are shown in photographic stills, not video. Only next week will these become video - so be sure to come back then, especially if England have drawn one of those teams and you want to scout them.


Have a look at how the various teams made it into today's draw in Cape Town

Now, if you're outside the UK, the situation is a bit more complicated. The rights to the action from various federations tends to be divided up on a territory-by-territory basis. That means that right now you aren't able to see any of the South American or African highlights. If and when the situation changes we will let you know.

As I say, there are few parts of our business as complex as broadcast rights for sports action, so I hope this makes sense.

Whatever video you can access in your region, you will find it here. As for the rest of our coverage today, we will start our live text commentary at noon, with Jonathan Stevenson. The TV coverage is on BBC2 from 1715 GMT, with commentary from Jonathan Pearce and that, along with 5 live's radio coverage with Mike Ingham and Ian Dennis, will be available through this website for UK users.

Please enjoy the coverage of today's draw, and please do let me know what you think.



  • Comment number 1.

    Based on the text above, I'd expect to be able to see the England highlights - it's only highlights from the African teams that you say are 'shown in photographic stills, not video'.

    But a majority of the England highlights video is either still images, or slow motion footage of players 'walking about' while showing the score lines of the matches - not actually showing highlights of the goals themselves.

    I presume this is because the BBC couldn't obtain the rights - but it further compounds how, as England fans, we are still restricted on how we can watch our own national team.

  • Comment number 2.

    Whilst I suppose showing stills and short clips of players hugging and high-fiving after goals and at the end of games does technically count as "highlights", it's not exactly what you'd expect, is it? Let's hope you don't resort to just regurgitating the scores over a couple of irrelevant images on Match of the Day...

  • Comment number 3.

    And what about those of us who's teams failed to qualify?

  • Comment number 4.

    Typical BBC we pay the licence fee and we can't even watch proper highlights of the England games well after they were actually played. Overall I thought the highlights of many nations could have been extended, 2-3 minutes can hardly cover over 2 years of qualifying games. It would have been better to see longer highlights especially of teams that we rarely get to see on British TV.

  • Comment number 5.

    Thanks for your comments so far. In terms of the disappointment at us not having every England game to show, I do hear you, but as I've said, sports rights are a devilishly complex business. Rest assured that we've brought you everything we were able to bring you, and hopefully you'll enjoy them.

    I can see from our live data on use of the website that lots of people are consuming the content, and I hope it's being generally well received, although I take on board these points made here.

    And hackerjack - I'm sorry, it's a guide to the World Cup teams, and we'd have had a lot of editing to do if we wanted to show every other team in the world!


  • Comment number 6.

    Well how about at least every other team from the UK, we do pay licence fees as well after all.

  • Comment number 7.

    Why does football coverage over -ride all other programmes? Tonights "It Takes Two" was significantly reduced - why not transmit the full program and delay all following progams by the ammount the football overran?
    In my opinion not all of your viewers feel that "Football" is the is the only program we wish to watch. Why not have a separate channel on the BBC for all sports coverage

  • Comment number 8.

    Well, for once I was able to watch video on this site.

  • Comment number 9.

    To be fair, this is not the BBC's fault, it is the rights holders.
    They believe they can hold back the tide, but they are wrong.
    Like Neptune before them, and like newspapers, the music industry and countless others, they can't win and they won't win.
    The public will get what they want - and in truth millions of them will have already seen all these highlights through all manner of means both ingenious and illegal.
    The future for those who try to limit public choice is total irrelevance.
    Google could buy the rights to all sport and solve this tomorrow if they wanted.
    That won't happen but it should be a profound warning to those clinging onto legacy business models and believing that what worked before will work in the future.
    The truth is this: What the masses want, the masses will get.
    There's even a word for it, and that word is democracy.
    Fix the problem though and get people what they want, then the world is your oyster.

  • Comment number 10.

    "CANNOT BE VIEWED FROM YOUR LOCATION / TERRITORY". This posting is becoming familiar now that censorship and businesship are taking control of the Internet. Lewis Wiltshire wrote, "copyrights is a devilishly complicated business." Yes, modern devils feed on copyrights and censorship.

    More practically: Is it the BBC or is it my country (Canada, the best in the world) that does not allow me to view these entertaining soccer video?

  • Comment number 11.

    I see the England Home Game Goals werent shown and I think I know why.
    I can see why the BBC had a problem getting them, ITV paid Millions for the rights and dont want the BBC to have them because ITV paid the Millions for the rights in the 1st place.
    We know its not the BBC's fault or even ITV's as Lewis said, Sports Rights are a complex business.
    Wouldnt you be annoyed if you spent millions on rights for a competitor to show highlights to what you brought?
    Dont think so and thats the position that the BBC and ITV were in.

  • Comment number 12.

    Hackerjack - if Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland had qualified for the World Cup, we would have been delighted to show their qualification campaigns. This was a project aimed at showcasing how the 32 countries competing in South Africa got there, minus South Africa the hosts.

    Smartseamaster - why can't the BBC have a separate channel for sports coverage? I would very much hope, and argue, that you are looking at it, ie this website!

    Ricky - an interesting post. It's not really for me to comment on but didn't want you to think I'd ignored it. I enjoy a bit of web future-gazing as much as anyone else. And to jm in Canada - you really ought to be able to view all 31 videos apart from the South American teams and, from today, the African teams in video (but still see the African teams in stills). Hope that makes sense - if you still can't see any of them, that's not a rights issue, but is probably a technical one.


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