The FIFA Qatar World Cup Qatar 2022 is fast becoming one of the best in the history of the tournament: From the on-field spectacle to the host country’s delivery of world-class competition, the world cup is living up to its hype. With eight stadiums that Qatar built for $6.5 billion and over $220 billion spent so far, the first World Cup in the Middle East is proving quite to be a sensation.
More than 1.2 million visitors travelled to Qatar worldwide to watch the FIFA World cup. More than that number from the African continent are watching the tournament from their homes on their television thanks to MultiChoice providing a world cup experience which many have testified has made the tournament a spectacle.
Although five African countries qualified for the world cup, – Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia – the entire continent has been hooked into the tournament, from the young who are watching their first or second world cup tournament to the old who reminisce about the days when they either followed the tournament on the radio or had to wait till the following to know the results of the day’s matches. The real-time coverage which also involves pre and post-match analysis, has been a favourite of many football lovers.
What has made the 2022 world cup stand out for many Africans is the availability of a 4k spectacle delivery which many confirm has made the experience more vivid and enjoyable, making it appears they were watching the matches from the stadium.
Apart from the existing High-Definition offering, it was announced before the tournament began that the 64 matches in the World Cup will be available in 4K for the first time.
“The matches will be in ultra-high definition, and the 4K resolution lends itself to fast-action sport. Most 4K devices have around eight million pixels, which means that each moment of the matches will be displayed in brilliant detail.”
What has made the World Cup a spectacle for a lot of viewers in Africa is not just the 90 minutes football action on the pitch but the overall package that Multichoice is delivering. The dedicated fan channels that provide exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage have transformed the viewing experience of most viewers.
As promised the tournament has lived up to viewers’ expectations. What has caught the attention of many viewers in the continent however is the delivery of commentary in local languages. From pidgin, the official lingua franca in Nigeria and other English-speaking West African countries to Swahili. In all, the commentary of the World Cup has been in 14 local languages offering a new and refreshing experience.
For many Nigerians, watching the world cup with commentaries delivered in the indigenous languages – Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa – has changed their perception about the competition. Globally, the World Cup rights are categorised into countries or regions and languages and for the first time, Nigerians can enjoy the commentary delivered in their own indigenous languages.
For commentators, sports, journalists and broadcasters in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, especially those who deliver their content in indigenous languages, there is a sense of renewed hope in the future of their career. The MultiChoice opportunity has opened a new perspective to their careers as many will pursue this desire to amplify sports in indigenous languages. The trail blazed by MultiChoice at the world cup which has received mostly positive reviews from viewers has set the stage for a new form of content delivery in sport that is set to have an enduring impact.
This innovation introduced by MultiChoice redefined the coverage and viewership of the most-watched tournament in television history. The first FIFA world cup broadcast on television was in 1954. 68 years later, it has continued to rule television. As confirmed by FIFA, the 2022 tournament has continued to set television records globally and the numbers are set to go up as the tournament reaches its peak.
In anticipation of the tournament, MultiChoice announced the availability of the live football matches on its video streaming platform, Showmax. So far, many have confirmed that the experience has been unique as they are able to catch up on the tournament on the go and in commute, a situation that many only imagined in the past.
Felix Awogu, the Executive Head of Studio & OB Production of SuperSport said the this has been something the team has been preparing for years and the satisfaction of customers has been the driving force behind the innovations.
Awogu said: With the United States, Mexico and Canada set to host the next edition of the World Cup in 2026, it is certain that the World Cup spectacle which has received praise across the continent is going to serve as the basis for a redefined football viewership in the continent with MultiChoice leading the charge.
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