Submitted by MP on Tue, 03/21/2017 - 10:15
Can't wait to read the analysis from Swellnet on the big issue for the future of pro surfing: The WSL Facebook Live viewer count.
Whilst the numbers were minuscule, it's hard to compare with previous analyses because Facebook is now one of several digital channels (when previously YouTube was the only source online).
Personally, for the Quik Pro I alternated between the WSL website (which uses the Neulion player), the iPhone and iPad Apps (which I think uses Neulion, though it's possibly a different stream), the Samsung App on my TV and then occasionally the Facebook stream.
I don't have Foxtel but obviously this is another channel for people to watch the event.
Also, despite Facebook's incomparable reach, it's not a great platform for watching live events IMO - people go to Facebook to flick through news feeds from friends and other sources. Opening a single FB post for a couple of hours doesn't fit in with the way the platform is primarily used so I don't think their live numbers are necessarily reflective of the broader audience, especially when it's just one of five or six digital streams.
That being said, the FB stream numbers were incredibly low.
Did anyone else detect a change in the presentation for the broadcast?
Where is the desk?
The rather shabby furniture assembled on a rug - costs cut to the bone already , no major sponsor so Ronnie Blakey looked like he was wanting payment at the end of each day.
I see the producers have listened to the feedback about how boring endless prattle from ex surfers is but endless recaps is not really much better.
As a Foxtel viewer , the ads , the recaps , the need to replay rides missed by recaps and replays all leave a rather disjointed broadcast.
Have waiting periods been reduced?
Was Strider constantly spruiking what a great promotional event surfing was ?
Is the WSL going to open chains of retail outlets soon in one last familiar but eerily outdated attempt to cover costs ?
Pity though that as a sport the performance of the competitors is reaching new heights , coaching is proving to be useful ! that funds look to be fading away...........
The Real question is where is Rosy Hodge?
So even though it's the first event of the year which is traditionally very popular particularly when the surf is good, which it was; the numbers were minuscule. Wow it appears pro surfing is almost dead in the water as far as selling it to a wider audience despite the best efforts and lots of cash from the mega rich Ziff's. Surfing is thriving and more diverse than ever but the packaged for an audience pro surfing version is on life support.
There's 75,000 people signed up on the wsl site to play Fantasy surfing.....you would think that to be a pretty accurate guide as to your core fan base. I am signed up, and because of it, watch more events more closely than I have before...but 75,000 people ain't covering the costs of a $1-2m event.
Don't know if Facebook and Fantasy surfer numbers are indicative of total viewership...I use neither of them and watch bits of most events.
I've never played fantasy surfer and watch most events avidly. Not many of my mates bother with fantasy either