How and where to watch the World Cup 2010 in Washington, D.C.


My guess is that the World Cup will be watched mostly online or via  our smartphones this year.  With games airing live on cell phones and computers, the World Cup will certainly get more online coverage than any major sporting event yet. Watching highlights the next day on TV or YouTube will suddenly seem like a downright ancient way to keep up with the action.

When the soccer tournament begins Friday, the Washingtonians can follow the action from an array of mobile and Web applications and share in triumph and heartbreak across social media. Here are ways to watch and monitor the World Cup this year:

Online

Walt Disney Co. networks ESPN and ABC, which are broadcasting the games in the U.S., will stream 54 games live on the newly launched ESPN3.com, formerly ESPN360. The games are free to those in the U.S. who get their Internet from a service provider affiliated with ESPN, including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and many others. The 10 games that will air live on ABC won’t be available on ESPN3.com, but all 64 matches in the Cup will be available live on mobile devices to customers whose plans include TV on their phones.

Football365
ESPN Soccer
The Guardian World Cup Fans Network

Via iPhone Apps:

. The ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup app [iTunes]
. The South Africa 2010 Tracker which has Live updates from every match [iTunes]
.  South Africa 2010 [iTunes]
. South Africa Essentials [iTunes]
. World Football Live [iTunes]
. World Cup Factoids and History [iTunes]
. World Cup Trivia Challenge Lite [iTunes]

Via Android:

1. World DroidCup

This app is currently the highest downloaded for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and that comes as no surprise considering the number of features that it includes. A user can see the group listings, a competition tree and a fixtures (matches) table. In addition, there is a category within the app that allows a user to track real-time scores which obviously aren’t updated yet, but will be utilized when the games start.

The competition tree lays every qualified team out in an easy-to-read format, similar to a March Madness bracket. Next to each matchup is a blue “i,” which provides information on the venue, time, and round of the fixture.

One of the best features is the stadium map. The app uses Google Maps to pinpoint the locations where the games will be played. By selecting one of the map points, a user can learn the name of the stadium, the city, the capacity, and the number of matches that will be played at that location.

2. 2010 World Cup

While the name of the app isn’t anything spiffy, the 2010 World Cup app is one of the most detailed currently available on the Android market. Upon opening the app, a user can see a countdown with the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds until the first match.

The calendar is very detailed, and features flags under each date, allowing the user to know exactly who is playing without scrolling from day-to-day. From the calendar, a user can click on any day to get a detailed overview of its fixtures, including the time and location.

One caveat for the casual fans, though — the app uses three letter abbreviations for the countries, so if a user is unable to identify a country, he/she must click through to the scoring page for that fixture to identify it.

This app has an easy to digest news panel as well, allowing for the user to keep up with the latest updates throughout the tournament.

3. World Cup 2010

WC 2010 is yet another solid app that any football fan should consider downloading. The top navigation bar allows users to access the fixtures, the group standings, live updates and more options. There is also plenty of news available under the navigation.

The fixtures are set up differently than the other apps. A user can browse through each of the dates and see how many matchups are set to be played on that day. A user can expand and collapse the game days as he/she sees fit.

While it may not pack as many features as the previous two apps, it is worth downloading for the sheer amount of news content available.

4. World Cup Essentials

Any diehard World Cup fan will appreciate that World Cup Essentials packs not one, not two, but three separate countdowns for three major events in the competition: The opening concert, the kick off, and the finals. Timing aside, this app includes a plethora of information on each of the individual teams, including interesting historical information, such as a country’s biggest win(s), defeat(s) and a general background that reads like a biography.

The matches panel is also set up differently than the other apps, showing all of the fixtures by group. If you are a fan of a team in Group G or Group H, be prepared to scroll down a bit to find the fixtures list.

The one downside to this app is the awkward navigation at the top. To switch to different parts, a user must click on the tab name and then select from a list. If navigation isn’t something that bothers the Android user, this is a great download for any World Cup enthusiast.

5. Goal.com Mobile

Goal.com introduces another viable app choice for World Cup fans to consider. Upon opening the app, the user is presented with a news feed and can easily scroll across the secondary navigation bar to access live scores, teams, fixture lists, and stage standings/results. News junkies will want to check out the “Breaking” tab in the main navigation, which lists the latest stories and how long ago they were published.

Aside from World Cup content, club news is posted for the U.S. National Team, England, Mexico, Italy and Spain. Live scores are provided for each of the major football leagues around the world, and the user can access league standings under the “More” tab. While the app provides a great deal of World Cup information and updates, it is a recommended download for users who want to continue tracking world football well after the competition has ended.

Bars and Restaurants in DC:

Arlington’s Summers Restaurant, which achieved a measure of fame when it was open 24/7 during the 2002 World Cup, remains Soccer Central, with every game broadcast live on dozens of TVs and with hundreds of regulars packing the place wearing the shirts of their favorite teams. And because there are some meetings it’s impossible to sneak out of, Summers will replay every day’s matches at 6:30, 8:30 and 9 p.m.

Lucky Bar, long a stronghold for English fans, becomes a polyglot bar when office workers and soccer fans flood in during major competitions. It’ll be open for breakfast and lunch every day, showing every game live and offering drink specials during reruns of the day’s matches, which will be at 6:30, 8:30 and 9 p.m.

Fado Irish Pub has plenty of fans who come in on Saturday mornings to watch English league games, and it should be a madhouse for World Cup. The pub will open at 7 a.m. every day with a special World Cup menu and live music after some matches, including Saturday’s clash between England and the United States.

In Falls Church, Babylon Futbol Cafe has made a name for itself by catering to South American soccer fans, and it won’t disappoint during the World Cup. Every game will be shown live on the bar’s 36 TVs and replayed later in the evening (7 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday and 4:30 p.m Thursday and Friday).

19th, at 19th and I streets NW, will show every game for the World Bank crowd. Capitol Lounge will be open for Capitol Hill staffers. The Hotel Monaco’s Jackson 20 is putting a large screen in its courtyard and serving up a special menu.

Bethesda’s Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle and Caddies on Cordell will be open for every match, as will Tryst and the Diner if you need coffee and breakfast. Even Adams Morgan’s tiny Bedrock Billiards is getting into the act, opening for all games and allowing patrons to bring in food.

Molly Malone‘s on Capitol Hill for every U.S.A. match, where drink specials include $3 PBR, $5 Guinness and Peroni drafts, $5 Jameson shots and half-price wings and mozzarella sticks.

El Patio, an Argentine restaurant in Rockville, will be packed with fans wearing blue and white stripes for all of Argentina’s games, and the bar will also show all games featuring South American rivals Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile, as well as the United States. (Bonus: They’ll be open for breakfast, and the food is great.)

Ghana Cafe, which relocated from Adams Morgan to Thomas Circle earlier this year, will serve as a home base for Ghanaians looking to cheer on the Black Stars but will also welcome fans of all African countries. The same goes for two U Street destinations: the soccer-friendly Cafe Nema and Ethiopian restaurant Dukem, which opens at 11 a.m. but will reshow the day’s earlier matches on nine TVs, including a 10-foot projection screen, and offer $5 African beers from 1 to 5 p.m.

The brand-new Biergarten Haus will be a destination for Germany’s fans, with two 10-foot projection screens on its patio and breakfast served at early matches.

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

3 Responses to How and where to watch the World Cup 2010 in Washington, D.C.

  1. Termeh Rassi says:

    Isn’t that showing a slight bias towards certain demographics?

  2. Ann Aita says:

    Will you bring over the kabob?

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