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Internet to score over traditional media

Real time news tickers on websites will keep fans up to date during matches.

india Updated: May 15, 2006 20:19 IST

A lucky few will get to watch the World Cup soccer games live in the stadiums, and many more on television. For the rest, it may be easiest to follow the goings on the Internet.

Real time news tickers on websites will keep fans up to date during the matches as well as providing soccer junkies with a variety of tips, background and other fun activities based on the sporting event of the year.

The passion for soccer is certainly sweeping the Internet. There are at least 3,000 websites focused on the World Cup in German language alone, says the German Association for Digital Economy (BVDW) in Dusseldorf.

"The spectrum is broad. Alongside professional sponsor websites and informational and entertainment offerings, there are also many private views in the form of online diaries and forums," explains BVDW spokesperson Christoph Salzig.

One starting point is the official World Cup Website run by the world soccer association FIFA. Visitors to http://www.fifaworldcup.com can throw their name in the hat for the last round of tickets to the matches.

Fans can find all sorts of information about the championship, including multimedia content such as an extensive gallery of brief video clips of stars and highlights from classic games from earlier world championships.

The page also offers a free live ticker for all 64 World Cup matches.

The FIFA site is not the only such service, though: experience dictates that a variety of media will be reporting online during the matches about every goal, foul, booking or other event out on the pitch.

In 2002, the Internet proved a beloved information source about the World Cup in South Korea and Japan, not least because of the time difference and delayed TV broadcasts.

"The hype this time will be of an entirely different order," says Alexander Wagner, director of the online editorial staff for the popular German soccer magazine "Kicker".

Beyond the classical media, online soccer portals offer breaking news and background information about the World Cup.

The German government has set up a multilingual website at http://www.wm2006.deutschland.de to introduce the host nation the visitors.

Apart from information on the venues, there are also language courses for beginners with important soccer vocabulary, as well as online soccer games to pass the time.

The "Fan Fare" section offers amateur filmmakers space to display their mini-home videos, provided they have something to do with soccer. Another site, http://www.dfb-kulturstiftung.de, provides a listing of theatre performances, festivals and exhibitions being staged in Germany during the World Cup.

Ticket holders travelling from afar will appreciate World Wide Web.fanguide2006.org. The World Cup's organisational committee set up the website to provide centralised travel, accommodation and stadium information. Frequently Asked Questions are answered on a "pinboard".

First Published: May 15, 2006 11:51 IST