ESPN (DIS), which has the English-language rights to the World Cup in the U.S., is taking a blanket approach. For the first time, the network is not only showing all 64 matches live on EPSN, ESPN2, or ABC, but is also live streaming them via its Watch ABC and WatchESPN apps (for authenticated telecom subscribers) and via ESPN3, its 24-hour broadband network.
Four years ago, ESPN hired Major League Baseball Advanced Media, commonly known as BAM, to do the background work for its ESPN3 live streams. Over the previous decade, BAM had made itself an industry leader by figuring out how to stream 2,430 baseball games every season.
BusinessWeek (check out article for nice description of the encoding, chunking and other elements of the streaming)