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Is the WSL going to open chains of retail outlets soon in one last familiar but eerily outdated attempt to cover costs ?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
The level of surfing is phenomenal but the heats are boring. I record the comps all on Foxtel so I can race through them at 12x and slow to normal speed when the sets are coming. The comps are nearly as long as the Olympics which is ridiculous. Would be much more interesting and intense if they did the whole comp in a day or two using a dual heat format like at pipeline or something. Judging should also encourage surfers to push the boundaries more by judging the whole wave for what it's worth and just deducting half a point or something if they fall off trying to do something massive or really unique rather than just giving them a crap score and getting to technical. The comp format and judging criteria needs to allow surfing to be entertaining for both surfers and non-surfers, interesting to watch and be over and done with fairly quickly. When you listen to non-surfers they say all the surfing looks the same and if we're honest about it there are some heats and tradesman like pro surfers that are like that. We appreciate the subtleties but nonsurfers don't. Until we can come up with a way to make it interesting for non surfers to watch we really don't have a sponsorship draw card.
Good point, stretching out contests with long waiting periods just make you lose interest, almost better with the big wave tour design where just a comp is on when the waves are right, fuck had the margs contest on for 2 weeks already and feels like even longer and wouldn't even know who is in contention, some good days of surf but stretched out and bit and pieces with boring heats of guys who already lost heats not to mention what a hassle or expense it must be for anyone trying to sell hotdogs or the like during the event. Great if you are on the wsl gravy train with free holidays and Hollywood treatment at the taxpayers/ratepayers expense but can't imagine that kind of excess can be funded forever , especially with the look of where the economy is headed. Finger crossed anyhow, let's watch the early seabreeze end the comp in 5ft bumpy rights (again) yawn
My mate Donald told me that they're gonna run the women's today at Contos??
It was at the bar though the other night...and he was pretty shit-faced.
Not as shit-faced as others mind. Literally!