Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06/13/bbc_streaming_block_advice/

BBC gives tips on blocking BBC World Cup content

It's a funny ol' game, innit

By John Leyden

Posted in Small Biz, 13th June 2006 15:14 GMT

The BBC has published advice explaining how to block access to one of its own heavily promoted services - live streaming video of World Cup matches.

Two weeks ago the British broadcaster said the service offered UK broadband-connected office workers as well as Brits at home the chance to watch World Cup games at their desks. Roger Mosey, the BBC's director of sport, said: "We know a lot of online viewing is done in the office, so we suspect this will allow people both to do their job and to keep up with the very latest action from Germany."

Networking firms were quick to warn that widespread use of the technology in corporate environments could cause network congestion and slow down the performance of business critical applications. Such warnings are routinely issued every time a World Cup comes around. We remember, for example, warning of networking meltdown in the run-up to Brazil's opening game against Scotland at the start of the France 98 tournament. In the event, no problems occurred.

We've not heard of any problems in corporates because of the BBC's enhanced streaming media coverage this time either, aside from gripes that the service isn't available outside the UK. Nonetheless the corporation has published a list of URLs that might be blocked by corporates wishing to block streaming video content from the BBC while still allowing staff access to other BBC Sport content.

"Due to the high demand for live streams for the World Cup during office hours, we understand that some corporate networks may wish to restrict access to the streams available from the BBC Sport website," the corporation explains, in a tacit admission that network congestion problems are at least possible.

Reg reader James H, who helpfully pointed us towards the BBC's notice, reckons that although "well hidden" the site may save some techies work if they're requested by management to block streaming media content. "[This] may be of use to other IT galley slaves who are pulling their hair out about how do it," he said. ®