Text: | Print|

World Cup zeal rises to fever pitch

2014-06-05 14:59 China Daily Web Editor: Gu Liping

Fans look forward to a month of all-nighters watching games, with broadcasters going all-out to accommodate them, Sun Xiaochen reports.

Although China has never made it to World Cup finals held outside Asia in the event's 84-year history, the Chinese take pride in their fervent involvement with the global sporting extravaganza.

While the 32 squads warm up for the World Cup, which begins on June 12 in Brazil, diehard Chinese fans are excitedly preparing for the one-month soccer carnival.

Due to the time difference between China and Brazil, most of the games will kick off in the small hours, but that won't stop Chinese fans from staying tuned in overnight to watch the televised games even though most will have to work the next day.

"I don't think it (the time difference) will be an obstacle. This is the highest-level competition in the world, which comes once every four years. You can't afford to miss a single goal of the live broadcasts," said Wang Wen, chairman of the Beijing Football Fan Club.

Some even plan to adjust their daily schedules to Brazilian time for the tournament.

Wu Bin, a store clerk in Beijing and loyal fan of the host Brazil, has to take his weeklong annual vacation during the knockout stage of the Cup.

"I used to take my vacation to travel with family, but this year I'll use it all during the World Cup. I think my days and nights will turn upside-down when the knockout round starts," said the 28-year-old Hebei native.

To accommodate employees' requests, Giant Interactive Group Inc, an online games developer and operator in Shanghai, postponed regular work shifts for four hours on the last day of the World Cup in 2010.

Wang expects that more employers will adopt the policy this year because "that little favor really wins over employees".

The hugely popular World Cup always triggers a media frenzy for more readers and viewers, and the Chinese media have geared up for the tournament in Brazil even though they'll have no home team to follow.

China Central Television, the only World Cup-rights-holding broadcaster on the mainland, will have four channels, including CCTV-1 and CCTV-5, airing live games and themed programs from midnight to mid-morning. More than 100 CCTV reporters and TV crews will be sent to Brazil for up-close coverage despite the enormous logistical cost.

"We will spend whatever we have to. The scale of this year's coverage will be bigger than ever," said Jiang Heping, CCTV sports department director.

High media exposure lured lucrative advertising deals, as witnessed at the recent CCTV 2014 World Cup advertising auction.

Online shopping platform Tmall will spend 141.6 million yuan ($22.7 million) to sponsor the scorer rankings, and sportswear giant Nike will pay 46 million yuan for naming rights of a program during the event, CCTV said in a statement.

Competition for online media has grown fiercely with Chinese internet portals like Tencent and NetEase launching aggressive World Cup campaigns.

Comments (0)
Most popular in 24h
  Archived Content
Media partners:

Copyright ©1999-2018 Chinanews.com. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.