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World Cup Shines On The Web

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Yahoo dominates the global soccer showcase as the host of the official website for the World Cup, and other sites offer Cup-related services. Even though the talking heads on ESPNRadio and local sports radio shows have nothing but disdain for soccer and its occasional 1-0 scores…

World Cup Shines On The Web
World Cup Kicks Off With Great Web Coverage

…they will dedicate plenty of talk time to a 1-0 baseball game that took twice as long to play as the soccer match and heap praise on the pitchers.

Give Dan Patrick a rest starting today, and head over to the web for your World Cup fix. Since Germany has the audacity to be five hours ahead of the US in time zones, the 6 PM kickoff in Munich between Germany and Costa Rica starts at 1 PM here. That’s ok because the web is your friend.

World Cup coverage online starts with Yahoo, the host of the official World Cup site. The site offers news, inside features, and all the results and standings through the final game on July 9th.

Yahoo’s coverage extends to the mobile platform. Users of advanced phones can sign up for Mobile Matchcast, and receive match information, schedules, photos, and live match commentary on those devices.

There is also a mobile portal for browsing World Cup information from the phone. For people who want to follow a team or group play, Yahoo offers free SMS alerts to track all of the US matches or all of the matches in Group E, for example.

Google may pummel Yahoo regularly in online search share, but for once the mighty GOOG isn’t the ultimate destination for a class of online users. That doesn’t mean they will pass up a chance to take part in the fun.

Google and Nike have opened up their Joga site to all Google account holders who want to sign up for it. The soccer-focused site aims at the niche of fans who will be greatly excited for the next few weeks without caring a bit for the NBA playoffs, the Stanley Cup, the MLB All-Star Game, or the WNBA.

The main Google search will return World Cup scores when searching for a favorite player or team, according to Manu Rekhi, Product Manager, on the official Google Blog. There are new gadgets available for the Personalized Homepage, including a World Cup info module.

Google Desktop should have a World Cup gadget soon (clock’s ticking, Googlers.) On the mobile side, texting a team name to Google (46645) will return the team’s scores and schedules.

Even though ESPN’s chattering radio personalities don’t have much enthusiasm for the World Cup, the mothership’s website has a dedicated section already seat up to cover the event. For instance, they are on top of the Michael Ballack story, in noting that Germany’s captain will play in the opener today despite having been ruled out due to injury 24 hours prior.

If the mobile phone will be your only resource for World Cup information, 4INFO and Opera have options for feeding your World Cup needs, as the two companies co-promote their World Cup services.

4INFO (44636) offers information by SMS. Users can text “World Cup” to 4INFO to get all the daily scores. There are also options for texting team names or group names for those scores, or “schedule” plus the team name or “standing” plus the team name to retrieve that information.

Opera has a World Cup version of its Mini browser available at mini.opera.com/goal/ that can be installed on devices with a WAP browser. Also, desktop users of Opera 9 beta 2 can grab the World Cup Widget to keep track of scores, news, and group standings.

Let the games begin!

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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