More than 600 Macintosh users from around the world have so far signed a petition protesting FIFA and Yahoo’s decision not to support Mac OS, Unix, or Linux in providing its World Cup video-streaming service.
Petitioners - opposing FIFA's assertion that it isn’t supporting the 'minority' Mac OS - observe: “I suppose in the next World Cup, nations like Senegal, Portugal, and Croatia won’t be allowed to compete because their populations, at less that 0.2 per cent of the world, are too small to worry about.”
Nick Stathis remarks: “It’s ironic that ‘the world game’ can’t be seen by the whole world.”
Money walks Other petitioners are shocked at FIFA’s denial of a potentially lucrative revenue stream, remarking that, while a minority, Macintosh users are more digitally aware than most. One says: “It baffles me that a company would actively turn away a potential revenue source. If your bosses are unhappy with the revenue you’ve generated off this project, maybe you could explain to them that you acted to exclude a percentage of individuals willing to pay.”
Others suggest that codecs supporting multiple operating systems do exist, denying FIFA’s argument regarding the cost of catering to the Mac market. Petitioner John Chu states: “Your comments on costs of supporting Macs are bogus. Simply exporting to a platform-friendly format like MPEG would work just fine.”
Some petitioners argue that dismissing Macintosh users as a five per cent computer market share is shortsighted. “It’s not about percentages; it’s about millions of disappointed fans,” said one.
Alongside the plea for Mac support for the world’s biggest soccer tournament comes a plea to: “Stop digital discrimination.”
FIFA is offering four-minute clips of World Cup soccer matches for a $19.95 fee. The service is available only to Windows users. FIFA says that this is because the number of Macs in use does not justify investing in providing such a service to Macintosh users. “Five per cent of the computer market is too small,” claimed a FIFA media representative.
Macintosh users report that the demo football clip is playable using Windows Media Player on a Mac, which is correct.
However, Macworld has tested the paid-for service. Macintosh users can sign up for this, paying $19.95 for the privilege, but the video clips do not connect. The service does not work. As the fee is non-refundable, Macworld recommends its readers do not try to replicate the experiment.
The petition is available here.