Sky Sports will attempt to block out Internet traffic from overseas tomorrow as it broadcasts the England vs Scotland football match live on its website.
The Euro 2000 qualifier will be broadcast free on the Internet by Sky at 2pm, as well as on its satellite TV network. But restrictions to its broadcasting license mean it can only let Internet viewers within the UK and Eire watch the game.
Uunet, which along with BT will provide the live data streams, will use specially programmed Cisco routers to prevent the feed crossing the Atlantic or the Channel. But it admits some overseas viewers may find a way in.
"I wouldn't want to bet that if someone were technically skilled enough, they would be able to find a way in and see it," said Uunet spokesman Richard Woods.
Online viewers will be able to watch and listen to the game in a 2.5x2 inch window on their desktops. Users will need a Windows Media Player, available from Sky's website (http://www.skysports.co.uk).
The quality will not be as good as TV broadcast, but provides an alternative for fans who don't have a Sky Sports TV subscription or a ticket for the match, said Woods.
"It will be reasonably steady, but won't obviously be as good as a TV picture. A lot depends on what equipment the user has at their end," he said.
Sky Sports claims it gets between 20 and 30 million page impressions a month. Uunet said it has the capacity to support tens of thousands of users. A peak of 250,000 simultaneous users accessed a recent Robbie Williams concert broadcast by Uunet.
Uunet will use its Uucast multicast technology which reduces bottlenecks by replicating data streams at various points around the Internet, rather than sending a single stream to each user.
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