Date
18 August 2017
US midfielder Jermaine Jones (right) and Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen vie for the ball during a Round of 16 football match between Belgium and USA at Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador. Photo: AFP
US midfielder Jermaine Jones (right) and Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen vie for the ball during a Round of 16 football match between Belgium and USA at Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador. Photo: AFP

Team USA and rebooting lost productivity

It’s one thing to keep your eye on the ball but live-streaming of the World Cup is proving a drain on productivity and company IT — even for one firm with skin in the sports TV game.

Bloomberg reports that magazine publisher Time Inc. told employees in New York not to stream the USA game against Belgium to their work stations because of the pressure it puts on the IT system. Time has a deal with Net2TV to create a “lineup of streaming television shows” including sports programs but it urged fans in the office to watch the game in conference rooms or pantries with TVs instead.

If that doesn’t work, Time always has the option of blocking employees from logging on to known video sharing sites. That could cut down the amount of streaming but, according to cyber-security firm Palo Alto Networks, it could also send workers to the dark side — to sites that could expose IT systems to even greater threats, the report said.

But, for all the hand-wringing about system overload and losses to productivity, one thing has worked in the corporate favor — Team USA won’t be going through to the quarterfinals. The Americans went down to a plucky Belgian side that stopped Klinsmann’s men in their tracks 2-1.

The campaign is over for the US, workers there can get back to watching animal videos and the bosses at Time et al only need to start worrying if the team gets better. That gives their IT boffins four years to prepare for an unlikely eventuality.

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