Canada's CBC Grows Mobile App Market for World Cup Matches

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The struggling public broadcaster is wasting no time executing on its new digital-first content strategy by allowing live streaming of games on smartphones and tablets.

KARLOVY VARY -- In late June, the cash-strapped CBC signaled a major pivot to mobile content to stay alive in the digital age.

Proof the Canadian public broadcaster is executing on that strategy came Tuesday as the CBC trumpeted that its CBC FIFA World Cup app had been downloaded more than 1 million times.

The free app allows users to live stream each match, including six live feeds for different viewing angles.

Other features include near-live highlights and social-media feeds to allow users to share clips, photos and comments via Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

So as the World Cup reaches its climax, it's the small screen and younger, hipper viewers that matter most to a CBC fast cutting costs and jobs to navigate a new digital landscape with reduced TV ad revenue and taxpayer subsidies.

The Canadian network's radical shift from TV and radio to a mobile-first content strategy comes as the CBC rolls out a hopefully more sustainable and cost-effective future by targeting Internet and mobile users in an increasingly multi-platform world.

Looking to offer World Cup games online over a speedy Internet connection and on a range of digital platforms is apparently paying dividends for the CBC.

Since the tournament began, Canadians have spent more than 10 million hours watching the CBC's World Cup video content across varied digital platforms, according to the network.

And more than 30 million Canadians have so far tuned in to watch the World Cup coverage on the CBC overall, which includes English and French language TV platforms for couch potatoes.