Most regular readers of this blog will know I am the first one to call out the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation [CBC] for being a complete waste of time and money, an anachronism from a different century that should die following a period of everlasting withering, but lives to fight another day for some inexplicable reason.
Not this time.
I COME BEFORE YOU TODAY TO SING THE PRAISES OF CBC FOR SOMETHING THEY FINALLY DID RIGHT!
I CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT I'M WRITING EITHER!
WHY AM I SHOUTING!?
So, Let me say Kudos to the CBC for their online presence and broadcasting of ALL World Cup 2010 Matches LIVE from South Africa!
Unlike some services online, like ESPN3, or Rogers Communications Inc, (fuck them all to hell), CBC requires no login and password combination. Go to CBC.ca, click the link to watch the games live, and there you are! Simple is best when it comes to online, and thank heaven CBC did not make the site look like a bad parody of some "YAHOO!" web page with ad after ad after ad strewn across my page in text and flashy-blinky form.
CBC has a small 10 second car ad at the beginning of the stream, and that is it for advertisements taking away your enjoyment of watching the big game. The page design is simple and easy to navigate. There is a "matchtracker" feature similar to FIFA.com, except this one is pleasing to look at and gives you the tale of the match in an instant detailing time of penalties and goals and substitutions. Other well thought out links are easily found for nation groupings, upcoming games today and later in the tournament, and the required news, photos, chat, etc., one would expect on a modern website trying to foster some sense of community.
The genius lies in the media player itself and the options to view the match. The media player for the live stream is very nice with a minimal look, highlighted progress bar that always remains on the bottom of the screen, and the easily found MUTE button for those watching at work like yours truly. There are also other video feeds available to focus only on one or two star players from the match in progress, or the wide overhead view of the stadium.
The overhead view is wonderful, as it makes the pitch look like a video game. If CBC is trying to lure more kids to their main site through this dedicated portal they are doing a great job of being somewhat non-traditional and presenting the game in a way many older viewers dislike, (up-down instead of left-right). The chance to focus on star players only is a great addition. Imagine having the ability to follow Maradonna with the infamous "Hand of God" goal, right on your desktop!
Finally, the way all the elements work together is fantastic. Tune in at any point in the match and the quick load time means you are in the action right away. Look at the "matchtracker" scorecard to see which minute a goal was scored. Use the progress bar to go to that minute of the match and watch the goal, then hit the "back to live action" button to join the match in real time. See if your favorite player is available on one of the isolated camera feeds and open a second window that remains in sync with the main game window to follow that player.
CBC, the fact that you did not get the Olympics in Vancouver and wasted buckets of taxpayer cash fawning over yourselves was truly a blessing in disguise. Missing those Winter Olympics gave you the chance to grab the right to World Cup South Africa 2010. You have put forth an excellent website, a wonderful, clean, easy to use website that anyone broadcasting live sporting events would do well to emulate in the future. Congratulations on not fucking this up!
Man, I just praised the hell out of the CBC, my second greatest enemy next to Rogers Communications Inc, (fuck them all to hell). Maybe I'm just mellowing with old age...