BBC to simulcast World Cup coverage online

The BBC is to air all of its World Cup games live online under a new deal signed this week.

All of the BBC's group games, plus its subsequent coverage from the knockout stages, will be available to watch for free via the BBC sport website. Rights protection technology will limit availability to surfers in the UK.

"The World Cup on broadband is our biggest commitment yet to bringing people major events where and when they want them," said Roger Mosey, the BBC's director of sport. "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."

Although unprecedented in scale, this is not the first time the BBC has aired live football on the net: in 2005 it aired the final of the FIFA Club World Championship Toyota Cup Japan between Liverpool and Sao Paulo online.

The BBC is also planning an online simulcast for five courts of live tennis during Wimbledon.