The Rugby World Cup digital challenge

Most sports fans will be aware by now that Spark won the rights to stream the Rugby World Cup matches on the internet, starting on 20 September 2019.  What this means is that in order to watch all of the 48 games live, you need a pretty good internet connection and if you want to watch the game on your telly instead of your phone or computer, you need to be pretty tech-savvy. 

But first things first. Do you have a high performing broadband connection with a download speed of at least 15 megabytes per second (15 MBps)?  40,000 households do not. You can check your download speed here.

Your second challenge – do you have a large enough data cap?  You will need a monthly data cap of at least 150 GB on top of what you are already using if you are planning to watch all the matches.  Upgrading to an unlimited account before 20 September would make good sense.

The next challenge is to subscribe to a Rugby World Cup 2019 Tournament Pass. You have already missed the super-early bird subscription of $59.99 – that ended on 31 May.  But it’s not too late for Early Bird pass of $79.99, which expires on 10 September.  There have been some grumbles about this fee, but as Spark has pointed out this is less than one-month’s subscription to Sky.

When you sign up, you will receive notification that Spark Sport is available on iOS and Android devices, which can be downloaded from the App Store for Apple devices or Google Play for Android devices.  So this is your next challenge.  Spark gives some helpful advice on their website:
Spark Sport is available today (May 2019) on:

  • Web (via popular browsers, Chrome, Firefox, Safari) on laptops and desktops
  • Spark Sport app for iPad and iPhone
  • Spark Sport app for Android

To watch on a TV, customers can:

  • AirPlay to Apple TV from an iPhone or iPad
  • Chromecast to a TV from a web browser on a laptop or desktop or an iOS/ Android device

The Spark Sport app is planned to be available on Samsung TV, Apple TV and Android TV devices in June.  After this, the Spark Sport app will roll out progressively on all other devices (Sony Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Panasonic Smart TV). These platforms will all be live in advance of Rugby World Cup 2019. Customers can check if their current Smart TV will be compatible for Spark Sport here.

If you have made it this far you might just have passed the digital literacy challenge for the Rugby World Cup.  We are planning to develop a Stepping UP module to provide some help (hopefully before 20 September), so you can enjoy the show!