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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

England plays Uruguay on Thursday in the World Cup. Sony, as an official partner of FIFA, are making photos and other digital options available online. (PHOTO: Getty Images for Sony X Football)

Digital options keep fans updated on World Cup games


On Thursday, I had the opportunity to take in the Division 3 and Division 4 WIAA girls soccer games at Time Warner Stadium on Good Hope road.

While the day's four games were pretty intense and typical that we would expect of state tournament games, what surprised me was the number of people using different digital media to keep track of the World Cup soccer games being played in Brazil.

I get it, fans of soccer are being super-served by the number of different viewing offerings there are. However, the level of promotion power meant to attract even the casual fan has been impressive.

Sony, an official FIFA partner, put together its One Stadium site to bring a number of digital offerings to a single online home.

"The partnership gives us access to over 40 FIFA competitions including the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, and we can carry out our comprehensive global marketing activities through advertisements, publicity, and various forms of promotions initiatives at these events," Sony reported on the site.

"Combining the diversified business areas of the Sony Group, ranging from electronics to movies, music, and games, and making full use of our state-of-the-art technologies, not only can we deliver the joy and excitement of football to our customers worldwide but we can present unique new ways to enjoy and experience the sport."

For watching live streams of the games at 12 different stadiums, Live Soccer TV offers a great list of links for where each game will be available – whether on Univision or ESPN.

In America, we tend to spend more time watching and following the professional level of play at other sports like football, baseball, basketball, golf, auto racing and hockey. However the pure numbers of people tuning in this year cannot be ignored. Univision Desportes reported recently that it has had its largest audience ever for a match play game.

Tuesday's game between Brazil and Mexico reached 12.2 million total viewers.

Other soccer fans attending the state soccer tournament also relied on text message updates and Twitter feeds t keep up with the games. And, I'd expect the trend to continue through to the final games on the largest global stage of our time.

SPEAKING OF THE WORLD CUP: Animal Planet, the channel that airs the annual Puppy Bowl at the same time of the NFL's Super Bowl, will air a similar offering for the World Cup.

The cable outlet is saying it is changing its focus from American football to the original football.

"'World Pup' is the network's cute, cuddly and shamelessly adorable alternative to the 2014 World Cup. … The network kicks off its own single-elimination tournament, which allows fans to root for countries based on the dog breed that best represents them. Sixteen dogs proudly bark for their home countries, most of which are top contenders in the 2014 World Cup, and each competes paw to paw as the world decides which is named 'Top Dog,'" Animal Planet reports.

Visit Animal Planet online to check out the "World Pup" competition.

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