Some People Didn’t Just Blow Off Work And Just Watch The World Cup Games At A Bar


This was a problem for many IT departments, one helpfully solved by the Belgian national team on Tuesday.

The surprise performance of the U.S. team and rising popularity of the World Cup in the U.S. has caused many firms to implement unorthodox strategies to assure that their networks won’t be overwhelmed by employees streaming the games.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York banned ESPN from being streamed on employee desktops and laptops, said a person familiar with the matter, because the streaming was causing bandwidth problems at the bank. Employees then shifted their viewing habits to Univision, which prompted the NY Fed to consider banning the Spanish language network as well….

Both games drew more than six terabits of data per second, suggesting more than 3.5 million viewers tuned in over the Internet at the same time, according to Akamai, which distributes video over the Internet on behalf of most of the broadcasters with rights to the FIFA world soccer governing body’s feed….

A banker at a Manhattan-based office of Royal Bank of Canada said that although most employees have been watching the World Cup at their desks, the U.S. matches were shown on televisions in the conference room, accompanied by pizza. A banker at UBS says that the bank gives employees the option to watch the World Cup through a live feed online. If that gets overloaded, staff can switch to watching the game on ESPN3 through the Bloomberg terminal….

A spokesman for Bank of America Corp. says employees at the bank’s midtown Manhattan headquarters “have been using this opportunity to celebrate together in a human way versus staying at their desk. Our streaming capabilities are limited simply because we’re so big and spread out, so I’m not sure we’ve made any tech exceptions in streaming.”

World Cup Forces Firms to Crack Down on Streaming [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]