England first as game live on Internet, in cinemas

England have already qualified for next year's World Cup finals in South Africa
England striker Wayne Rooney takes part in a team training session at Wembley stadium in London in August. England's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine is to make history by being the team's first international to be shown live in cinemas and on the Internet but not on TV.

England's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on Saturday is to make history by being the team's first international to be shown live in cinemas and on the Internet but not on TV, media group Perform said.

With England already qualified for next year's World Cup finals in South Africa, major television stations such as the BBC and Sky have opted against buying the rights to screen live coverage of the match being played in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.

Irish satellite broadcaster Setanta had been due to cover the match live but the group's British arm went bust in June.

Fans not travelling to the Ukraine can still see the game live at Odeon cinemas across England and over the Internet for a fee of between 5.0 and 12 pounds (5.5 and 13 euros, 8.0 and 19 dollars).

"Saturday's Ukraine versus England FIFA World Cup 2010 qualifying game will make history as the first England international to be broadcast exclusively over the Internet and in cinemas across the UK," said Perform, which will stream the game live over the Internet.

"Millions of people around the world follow live sports online and this shows a real sign of the times -- we're extremely excited to be involved in this landmark event," Perform executive chairman Andrew Croker said in the group's statement.

(c) 2009 AFP


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