SPORTS

Cord cutter sports fans and office workers can watch Euro Cup - legally - online

06/07/2012 11:56 EDT | Updated 08/07/2012 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - In a bit of encouraging news for cord cutters who feel they're missing out on live sports, TSN will be offering online streaming access to the upcoming European Championship soccer tournament.

For $19.99, users can stream all 31 games in the tourney in high definition, commercial free. Users can also choose a 24-hour pass for $4.99 to watch a game or two, or pay $9.99 to watch the last seven games of the tournament, including the final.

TSN wouldn't say whether they expect most customers will be so-called cord cutters — those who opt out of TV subscriptions and get their content digitally — or office workers hoping to keep watch on the tournament at work, which airs in the afternoon in the eastern time zone.

"I think part of what we're looking forward to is research on who will use this," said TSN president Stewart Johnston.

"This is a true HD premium service. It's 31 games packaged at what we think is a pretty reasonable price to access all of those games —at less than 65 cents a game if you get the tournament."

In the past, TSN has offered streaming access to CFL games and the Masters golf tournament. Some online streaming of the upcoming Wimbledon tennis tournament is also planned, Johnston said.

Sports fans without a TV package won't have to miss out on the London Olympics either, with CTV streaming extensive coverage online.

A recent survey by Ipsos Reid suggested most Canadians are not willing to cut their cable in favour of watching video content online. But if they had to make the choice between the two services, a large number would pick the Internet.

About 43 per cent of survey respondents said they would drop their cable TV subscription before cutting off their Internet. That percentage was 64 per cent among those aged 16 to 34 but only 28 per cent for those over 55. The survey of 1,000 Canadians was conducted in March and is considered accurate within 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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