The ASP: It's on but who's watching?

Stu Nettle
Surfpolitik

This article is the first in a three part series. Read part two here, or part three here.

Of the multitude of words written about the recent changes to the ASP the most poignant statement I've read was this: It used to be that the ASP supported the surfing brands, but now the ASP is the brand. It's a simple concept, but not easy to envisage. Perhaps that's because for the last twenty years the surf brands pulled rank on the ASP, they owned professional surfing and that relationship is all many of us have ever known. But as of this year that relationship has been radically altered.

So say what you will about the new webcast, or the big wooden desk the presenters sit behind, or the many other changes taking place, it's the creation of the ASP as its own branded entity that is the beating heart of the transformation. Surfing's peak body has gone from a passive, non-profit organisation to a privately-owned company that's subject to the same commercial forces as any other. And just like other brands it must now sell itself and turn a profit for ZoSea, the company that owns the ASP.

It's quite a departure from the ASP of old. Since its inception the economics of professional surfing didn't necessarily have to add up. Of course contests had to be paid for, yet the return on investment by sponsors was always a somewhat amorphous figure, never able to be quantified in monetary terms but arrived at by gut feel rather than exact metrics. During the surf booms of the 1980s and 1990s, when surf culture was largely homogenous and media channels few, it could be assumed that the investment was worth a company's while.

A short history lesson...

In Australia during the 1980s surfing was a euphemism for youth culture and many companies, even non-endemics, wanted to align themselves with the only organised form of the sport – professional surfing. Surf contests were regularly featured in the mainstream media and surfers appeared likely to crossover into legitimate mainstream sport stars. It could be argued that a few surfers, namely Tom Carroll, Cheyne Horan, and Pam Burridge actually did.

All that changed in the mid-1990s. In 1996 Sid Cassidy was ousted as head of the ASP and with him the vision for surfing's mainstream acceptance. To be fair, it'd become obvious surfing wasn't going to challenge for mainstream supremacy; a global recession saw non-endemic sponsorship wane and viewer friendly sports such as surf lifesaving fill the breech for the Saturday afternoon recliner chair mob.

Yet from that crisis professional surfing experienced its halcyon years - the Dream Tour was born. The rivers of gold running into the surf industry trickled down to professional surfing, and the surf companies could afford a World Tour that resembled a 'round-the-world freesurfing trip: Snapper, Fiji, Teahupoo, Mundaka, Hossegor, Hawaii. But despite the good times the seeds for professional surfing's most recent crisis were also laid during this period.

Run almost solely by the surfing companies the World Tour became a de facto marketing arm for said companies. Operating costs were large yet they were signed off in the ephemeral name of advertising. As far as financial accountability goes it's impossible to say whether the World Tour provided sufficient return on investment to those that supported it. They did however stick with it a long time.

Until webcasts came along there was no reliable way to know how many people viewed the contests, and even then the numbers were largely kept secret. When they were mentioned it was often by presenters indulging in pre-match hyperbole: “We're going out to millions of viewers around the globe today!” At certain contests viewer numbers were visible on screen and they were significantly lower than the broadcast seven figures. For instance, when John John Florence beat Jamie O'Brien in excellent waves at the 2012 Volcom Pipe Pro the concurrent viewers wavered around 20,000. The problem was that webcasts often had multiple streams and there was no way of knowing exactly how many viewers were on each stream. Was it 20,000, or was it many more times that figure? One could suspect but there was no way to know for sure.

Whatever the numbers were by 2008 the webcast was the dominant interface for surfers to interact with professional surfing. Print information lagged, television did too, surfers wanted action instantly and the companies obliged with ever improved webcasts – the quality and functionality leapt forward. But then the GFC hit and suddenly the contest-as-marketing-tool wasn't quite as viable for cash-strapped surf companies. As their fortunes declined so to did the health of the World Tour and in 2010 a Rebel Tour was touted. The ASP desperately fended off that threat but further advances came. When in December 2012 ZoSea finally acquired the ASP it was rumoured there were four other parties also showing interest.

And that brings us to the opening line of this article about the ASP becoming its own brand. With the surf companies stepping aside the ASP oversees competition, as it always has, but now it also controls the commercial side. To succeed, its business model must run similar to those other three letter acronyms: NFL, NRL, AFL, NBA. Professional surfing always had a whiff of the magical scam about it but those days are gone. When it was acquired by ZoSea the ASP stepped out of surfing's cultural embrace and into the rational world. It exposed itself to the same market forces as every other league and syndicate sport where tradition counts for little and audience numbers mean everything to a potential sponsor. But let's slow down a moment, we're not quite there yet...

Fortunately ZoSea found a backer to provide seed capital allowing the new system to find its feet in its harsh new environment. Floridian publishing billionaire Dirk Ziff is the guy who's stumped up the cash, and fortunately he is a billionaire because back-of-the-napkin figures put the annual Men's tour cost at $50 Million dollars alone. The ASP, with Ziff's backing, has also acquired the Women's tour, the Big Wave World Tour, and at the time of writing this article news broke that they'd acquired the XXL Big Wave Awards. The ASP has bought all this for nix, it was a bailout to be sure, but running costs are in the ballpark of $100 Million a year. No-one knows how much seed capital will be provided by Ziff nor how long it will run. Swellnet asked the ASP but got no response. But whatever the outgoing costs are even billionaires have their break point. The new ASP needs to start making serious bank.

Their account received its first deposit when Samsung Galaxy secured the World Tour naming rights twelve days before the beginning of the 2014 tour. It's unknown how much they paid but tellingly the first press release went out stating Samsung (the brand) were sponsoring the tour. That was quickly replaced by a press release declaring the sponsor as Samsung Galaxy (the product). Also, just three days before the waiting period of the first competition, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, there wasn't a single Samsung advertisement to be found. Both examples indicate this was a last minute deal and not the financial elixir the ASP would've been hoping for.

On paper it appears ZoSea have the talent to make contest surfing profitable. CEO Paul Speaker is a one-time Director of Marketing at the American NFL and past President of Time Inc Studios. Terry Hardy, aside from being Kelly Slater's manager and architect of the first Rebel Tour, has a long and successful history in action sports and entertainment. They have the connections, wherewithal, and importantly, the start up finances to make a shake of it.

They've made no secret of their tactics either. In an April 2013 speech Paul Speaker said: “In the last five years the landscape has changed dramatically. Online is as powerful as broadcast in linear television.” In the same speech he elaborated on the importance of a uniform, centralised broadcast system. In short, a slick webcast package that matches the best live sport productions.

Live action. Real time viewing. It's how 99.4% of sports events on TV are watched according to Disney CFO Jay Rasulo in a recent Forbes article. Bob Garfield of On The Media concurs: “You can watch Breaking Bad in real time or time delayed on your DVR or you can get it through Netflix and you can binge on it, but that’s not how people consume sports. They consume it in real time.”

Above all, surfing as a live sport just seems to make perfect sense. It's dynamic and captivating, offering a melange of bare skin athleticism and blue sky visuals, the perfect mix for surfers, voyeurs, and vicarious outdoorsmen. And according to various reports the worldwide surfing population numbers in the tens of millions. In Australia alone the Sweeney report stated there are 2.5 million surfers, yet in a 2010 interview Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark estimated there were another half a million to a million above that. In 2012 the Kelly Slater Wave Company (of which Terry Hardy is also a director) stated there were 35 million surfers worldwide, 12.5 million in the US and 6 million in Australia. If those numbers appear fanciful then remember Slater was trying to present the best possible case to potential buyers of his product. And the ASP is trying to do the very same thing.

Whatever the exact number, the global surf population could safely be stated as in the 'millions'. But the crucial ratio is just how many of them care enough about professional surfing to watch, because both you and I know that recreational surfing and organised professional surfing are two very different things. It doesn't follow that just because someone surfs they'll also be interested in competition. Are the people who are being sold surfing aware of this schism?

                                                                                                     *****

At the beginning of 2014 the ASP launched their new webcast and began streaming the production through YouTube. Importantly they were using adaptive bitrate streaming, meaning they only needed to provide one stream for the English speaking webcast. And because it's on YouTube the concurrent viewer numbers were available to the public for the very first time. It became possible to see the peaks, the troughs, and the patterns of watching. Swellnet recorded the data at five minute intervals on each competition day of the Australian leg. The results make for a fascinating examination.

Before continuing it needs to be noted that this is not total audience but snapshots of the audience number at fixed times. It's the same method used by the television industry to measure viewership. When OzTam reports the men’s Australian Open tennis final was watched by 2.34 million people – an actual statistic from this year – they are referring to the same metric. Also, these numbers don't include the Portuguese stream, which is the only other stream available. The Portuguese figures were roughly one tenth of the English stream at all times so to get totals simply add 10%. Lastly, Fuel TV is the only other place to watch the World Tour live. We have no way of knowing what their audience is but as their broadcast is sporadic and unreliable – they cut to a skate show two minutes into the Margaret River Pro final – we can assume it is low. Certainly much smaller than the webcast figures. And with that out of the way let's look at the numbers.

Of the three Australian contests the peak concurrent viewership was 47,000 during the Quarter Final heat between Kelly Slater and John John Florence at Bells Beach. The second highest figure also included Kelly Slater, that time versus Nat Young in Round 5 at Snapper Rocks with 41,123.

The finals of each three Men's competition rated thus:

Snapper Rocks – 32,633.
Margaret River – 25,781.
Bells Beach – 40,417.

For perspective, the global audience of the Bells Beach final was 1/60th the domestic audience of the Australian Open tennis final. It's also just 0.001% of the global surfer population as stated by the Kelly Slater Wave Company. The Margaret River final was 0.0007%.

Interestingly, for each of the contests the highest rating didn't occur during the final, but that's probably only because Kelly Slater didn't make a final. The highest rating in each contest occurred during one of his heats.

The men averaged around 20,000 concurrent viewers through all three contests, though that number jumped significantly whenever Slater surfed. Typically the figures would rise 25%-30% just before his heat and drop off soon after. No other surfer, whether they be current World Champion (Mick Fanning), or reigning event champion (Adriano De Souza at Bells Beach), or event local (Joel Parkinson at Snapper Rocks), affected the viewing pattern anywhere near as much as Kelly Slater. In fact, no discernible pattern could be found for any other surfer.

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In total Swellnet recorded over 2,100 data points which could be used to determine much of the ASP's live viewership, at least as it stands at this point in time. I've selected just the above information as it highlights a few crucial aspects of the ASP's brand, especially as it pertains to its online presence.

The first is that ASP webcast viewership is much lower than what most people expected. When I spoke to surfers who watch the webcasts they were surprised by the figures. This could probably be attributed to the false consensus effect, whereby people tend to think they're in a majority believing many other people are doing the same as them. Social media amplifies false consensus; surfers link in with like-minded surfers on Facebook or Twitter, they share similar values so end up having their own values reflected back at themselves.

Although we can't know the ASP's total reach those concurrent numbers make it abundantly clear the fabled “millions of viewers” remains just that – a fable. Even for below the line advertising – more suited to smaller, niche audiences – the diminutive figures would present a real challenge.

For this article I spoke to the Managing Director of a Sydney media buying agency. Although he didn't want to be named he was happy to offer his opinion on the ASP audience. Based on the figures Swellnet provided, he believes the ASP “will struggle breaking even at this stage.” There are many ways to slice the figures but using the tidy metric of total reach he anticipates they'd need to reach 5 million people per event to break even. That's across various touch points: online, on site, and on air. To achieve the requisite 5 million eyeballs, “The media coverage would need to be vertically integrated - online, television, and the press.” And who does he think could achieve this for them? “News Corp springs to mind as a potential long term global media partner for the ASP.”

However, in his view it'll be a very difficult sale: “Surfing is at best a third tier sport around the world.” It hasn't always been that way though, remember the history lesson when surfing flirted with the mainstream? For the ASP to revisit that territory it needs to elevate the sport and expose it to many more viewers. Clearly it can't rely on existing viewers to meet that end.

Another factor to consider is the viewing pattern around Kelly Slater. Yeah, no surprises there. Yet Slater is 42-years-old and will retire within the next few years, so the role that he plays within the ASP will be crucial to its development as a brand. It's also worth noting that celebrity trumped competition in every Australian event. Online viewers cared less for the theatre of sport than they do the actors who tread the boards. The ASP needs to heed that information and somehow harness it into their brand building. And they'd better do it quick because, Kelly Slater aside, whatever they're doing now isn't working.

The aforementioned points assume an approach where the ASP brand is built to increase its viewership and match its current operating costs. The following is the inverse, it assumes the current viewership remains static and costs are brought down.

Over the last two years there's been a correction occurring across the whole surf industry. Sponsored riders have been cut from teams and paycheques reduced for all but an elite few. Of course this follows from the downturn in the surf industry, but as it was the surf industry who built up the World Tour to its current state, perhaps a corresponding recalibration of the tour – less prize money, less infrastructure, cheaper contests – could be in order. As the numbers show there appears a profound imbalance between running costs and the amount of people who care enough to watch it live (note: heat analyser falls outside the ASP business model as it sidesteps sponsor ads).

In the past a voluntary contraction – call it an 'austerity measure' to tie in with world economic events - would've been a hard sell to the surfers, but as they don't own the ASP anymore they'd have no say in such changes. If ZoSea can't secure ongoing sponsorship what else will they do? With the acquisition of the Big Wave World Tour and XXL Awards, two ventures that arguably have the potential to reach a larger audience than the World Tour, then support may come from those quarters. Live broadcast, however, will present an even bigger challenge than the World Tour.

Over the next few years the ASP will focus on building their brand, yet as we've shown the webcast numbers are a long way short of being meaningful to potential sponsors. The new ASP has now run three World Tour contests and it's safe to say only pro surfing tragics - those who've always watched the sport - are tuning in, plus the occasional celebrity obsessed punter when Kelly dons a vest. For the ASP to survive they'll need to greatly increase their fan base or else reduce their operating costs.

The next two years are crucial to the health of the ASP, yet whichever way it goes - boom, bust, or stagnate - the idea of pro surfing will always remain. For every surfer who takes the Phil Edwards line that contests “lead surfing away from its basic purpose of man against wave,” there's a horde of talented kids wanting to show they're the best surfer in the water. And there'll also be those - perhaps only a few – wanting to watch them. 

For this article Swellnet contacted the ASP between contests but received no reply.

This article is the first in a three part series. Read part two here, or part three here.

Comments

bunker-spreckles's picture
bunker-spreckles's picture
bunker-spreckles commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 2:47pm

Excellent analysis Stu. It reminds me of when AFL commentators tell us there are millions around the world watching the Grand Final - more likely there are a couple of thousand outside Australia. Surfing probably has it's highest profile in Australia compared to just about any country, and even here it is a niche sport - therefore your suggested $100 million seems an extraordinary amount of money to spend on the pro tour.

The numbers don't lie - there just isn't that much interest in professional surfing in Australia, let alone the rest of the world. And I suspect most surfers are quite happy for it to be like that, we like the fact that it's still something of an 'outsider' sport/lifestyle...

Bunker-Spreckles

tony ty carson big island's picture
tony ty carson big island's picture
tony ty carson ... commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 10:22am

Bunker, well said, I agree.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 3:05pm

Great wrap Stu. I had some visitors from your town down over easter, just average punters wanting to go and have a look a Bells. They caught the ferry across and went along and said it took nearly 2 hours to get into the contest site. Place was packed, cars and people everywhere and the organisation not up to AFL level that people expect these days. Finally got in and saw the end of the final heat. They said it was an interesting experience but not one they want to hurry along and do again. Once they saw the surfers they enjoyed it however. I wonder if the money received on the day just breaks even for the set up or not, because Victorians love a sporting contest so Bells should be the most profitable out of all the Oz contests I would have thought.

deckstrus's picture
deckstrus's picture
deckstrus commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 3:13pm

"It doesn't follow that just because someone surfs they'll also be interested in competition. Are the people who are being sold surfing aware of this schism?"

I'd actually state that that Sales & Marketing 101 says that if someone surfs then they are a perfectly qualified candidate to have interest in all things surfing including the competitive world tour. It then logically follows that some relevant questions to ask become -

1) Why don't they now?
2) What can we do to change that?

And that's not considering the potential growth of new interest. I understand surfing in Brazil is considered to be more than a Tier 3 sport for example...

I for one love watching the tour - religiously. I'll tune in to the BWT too and even the XXL awards night if they can get a webcast to work properly!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 3:28pm

They might be a candidate, but how many surfers really have the time (and accessibility) to watch all eight hours of a real time daily webcast?

Even if a tradie pulled out their iPhone on the building site, surely they'd really only be able to watch a few ten minute blocks at best.

deckstrus's picture
deckstrus's picture
deckstrus commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 3:42pm

When I am at work I have the commentary on speaker...
If someone gets a 10 (or deathly trip over the falls) then I watch the replay if I can.

But first I need to check the time cause maybe I am not at work -

East Coast AU time?
West Coast AU time?
Or are we talking US time?
Or EUR?
Maybe Africa?
Fiji?

My point is the coverage is not always on during our East Coast AU normal working hours.

It works on smart phones. Even in the car if I am driving I'll plug a jack in to iphone and broadcast sound in cars stereo system. Sure beats crap outta radio.

Not always but a lot of the time I think it depends on how bad you want to listen and once again that comes down to marketing.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 3:41pm

which is why people down tools for the Slater heats .....and then get back to work.

deckstrus's picture
deckstrus's picture
deckstrus commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 3:52pm

So we need a tour of Slaters OR we need to make people believe that we already do

And once again...marketing.

As you said, previously the brands owned the tour - and they marketed their individual brands and theoretically gained a following.

No one has ever marketed the ASP brand. That's what they need to do now and hopefully they will also gain their following.

Theoretically doing this successfully will give the tour a much greater chance to flourish even in testing financial times. No longer will events fall off the annual calendar because an individual brand is struggling.

And then they will gain trust and loyalty from their following - who will talk about how great it is to all our mates - and exponentially the brand grows.

spookypt's picture
spookypt's picture
spookypt commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 3:58pm

IN the USA marketing seems to be a different thought process.

Its like how the USA has their game of baseball yet its called the "World Series" and yet only teams from within the US play in it. The world stops in California and Florida. It makes complete sense to them but to the rest of us its just plain strange.

Is it just me or every time I talk to a company in the US by email and I ask 3 questions but only the first one ever gets answered?

The model is wrong and if you go on all the feedback about the website heat reviews and advertising banner madness it certainly looks like its "only in America" again! Not even their 223 odd million (?) is going to save it I don't reckon.

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 4:24pm

I watch it live, off and on, if the surf is good. Though I mostly consume by looking at the results page, and using that to select my Heat Analyser consumption.
I have my favourite surfers, but I don't get the 'much watch live' anxiety that I might get with some other sports.
For me, the best bit of watching live is observing the surf break. That is the unique bit. High quality, multi camera angle live recording of a famous wave spot. You see the whole set-up, the moods, the different take off areas, the lulls etc. Very illuminating.
I have learnt that some of these famous spots look even harder to surf than I had imagined. More variable. The best take off spot is more shifty. But that is a surf nerd interest.
The other thing I have learnt from live viewing is, the better the waves, the less waves there seem to be at a lot of these places. That is a real problem for the ASP's dreams of increasing the audience.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 4:32pm

"So we need a tour of Slaters OR we need to make people believe that we already do"

Fuck mate, even in the ASP's wildest marketing wet dreams I don't think people are that stupid.
You can't replicate talent like that.
And thats another big problem for the ASP......

I can't see the next Julian Wilson or JJF coming up through the ranks let alone another Slater.

Lou_harms's picture
Lou_harms's picture
Lou_harms commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 4:40pm

First of all great article!

Now I understand i might get slated for this but as far as the ASP goes one thing i think that they could do is change the judging criteria. The sport whether you like it or not is moving into the air. Its all about skate moves now. The judging in the ASP events doesn't seem to always reflect this. They need to reward progression and get the wow factor into the events. Encourage people to really go for it and produce waves that are straight out of video parts. Im not saying a one move wave but a wave that's well linked but also has that moster move.

Its what the young surfers want to see and lets be honest there the ones that are looking to this tour with eye wide open thinking that could be me, there also the ones that are most likely watching (The ASP should offer the live through facebook if for nothing else but to get the data about whos watching age, sex, local etc).

The move to the box was a great idea (ok it wasn't the size that we all wanted ) but again people will tune in to see people risk it all. It will be interesting to see the numbers from waves like Teahupoo.

Surfing has a wow factor, but you can't bottle it because your at the mercy of mother nature to provide it. Redbull is the undisputed king of action sports and its no coincidence that there event is at a dangerous wave, and they wont run it till its big and nasty. But hey can wait they run it to create content that can be distributed at a later time.

I think the ASP is on the right track and my fingers are crossed that it works out, cause i think its good for the sport.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 4:44pm

Well unless there a million brazzos watching the rio contest it could turn out that brazil is a big mistake cause i cant see too many people frothing over it.Quite possibly the biggest mistake made was not to run the contest last year on the BIG day at Cloud break.The amount of exposure surfing would have recieved from that would have been unbelievable,and there it was a gift that wasnt taken.Big mistake imo.

simba

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 5:04pm

Firstly, did SN automatically record the viewing numbers at 5 min intervals or was it done by hand? The reason I ask is that it will be very interesting to update the above stats after Brazil and the US comps. I think the main reason why the Aussie event numbers appear low is that it was really only Aussies watching it live due to the time differences around the world. I would suspect the numbers to increase for the Brazil comp, given the population in South America and North America and the local time zone. Similarly, the J Bay and Euro events should also rise due to the Euro time zone benefactor and America's time zone not too far out.

So perhaps another update on the stats would be well worthwhile, post Brazil.

One further question to ponder. If these viewer numbers do not increase, it clearly points to a very quick death of the ASP WCT in my opinion. What will the professional surfing fraternity do then?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 7:22pm

donweather wrote: Firstly, did SN automatically record the viewing numbers at 5 min intervals or was it done by hand?
We wrote a computer program to record the data at specific 5 min intervals (could have done 1 min intervals but I don't think the accuracy would have been much higher). We will record every event throughout the year as long as the data is made available - this will create a unique data set that'll allow for some interesting analysis when comparing 10-12ft Teahupo'o (if it happens) to 3ft Snapper.
blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 5:15pm

Maybe they need to rethink the whole model. I can't see much value in the current one for any of those involved. Sky high overheads for Zosea, months on the road, often at dud locations, for the surfers and negligible promotional value for the sponsors. Too much viewing for the punters. I'm thinking ........ BOXING! Man on man (sorry person on person) bouts. You climb the ladder to get a shot at the reigning champion.

trippergreenfeet's picture
trippergreenfeet's picture
trippergreenfeet commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 5:21pm

Even the Pro Bull Riding draws massively bigger crowds and viewers than what the ASP could ever hope for.

http://www.pbr.com/en/news/features/20th-anniversary/2013/6/international-growth.aspx

The numbers for Brazil alone outside of the PBR are huge - from the article above:

In Brazil, however, there are more than 1,800 rodeos each year, and they attract a combined live audience that approaches 30 million spectators annually - making it the most popular live sport in the country. Bull riding and rodeo is the second most popular televised sport in Brazil, behind soccer.

"You see 45,000 people show up and then another 40,000 people stick around to be a part of the environment," said PBR CEO Jim Haworth, who recently attended a PBR Brazil event in Jaguariuna, Brazil. "It is phenomenal."

ASP's greatest wet dream.

Maybe we can get Slats and John John on the back of Mississipi Hippy and see if they can score some juicy barrels while hanging on for dear life, yeehaa!

I'd rather be poor and produce nothing than be an arsehole and conquer the world - Alby Falzon

What time do you like the best? The time on the kitchen wall, or the time it takes to smoke a cigarette? - Sidewinder

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 5:43pm

hmmm and I thought it was just me who downs tools to watch Slaters heats.

Only other heats ill watch is if there is a good match up between someone like John John or Dane gets a wild card, and maybe watch the final.

Location and waves is also a factor, like this comp in Brazil is not of much interest to me.

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 6:07pm

In an era when Test cricket's audience is in decline, I can't see the ASP building much of an audience. Watching live ASP is watching 2 people, paddle then float, stretch neck, peer, paddle again, float.
With no real analysis, I will throw in some totally optimistic guesses. Don't quote me. Average number of waves ridden per heat = 10. Average wave ride length = 18 seconds. Total action = 180 seconds. And that is optimistic.

Hey, we can deliver 2 people producing a total of 3 minutes of live action every 1/2 hour!
By the way, we can't guarantee when that 1/2 hour will be, we gotta wait for the surf.
Also by the way, the internet is awash with great surfing footage, if you'd rather not wait around here.

It's a tough sell.

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 6:30pm

Well... I know a bookmaker in Mumbai.... I could give him call.... Drum up heaps of interest..... 3 to 1 Fanning falls on his 4th major turn.... ;)

Jokes aside ( or was it)........ and yeah, "slightly off topic", but not by much..... - Has to be a 5 year plan....... They have to be brave.....I'm not really up with the mechanics of the tour, But I know one thing - Brazil HAS to work.... Big country coming into big dollars..... Move comp further north to the Salvador region (which BTW is copping heaps of swell right now).. Change name to "Billabong Viva Brazil Pro".....Billabong who make boardshorts would sit comfortable with holding the comp in the warmer BOARDSHORT wearing climes, where there are more waves and a big population, surely, as would the ASP... Better the waves, the bigger the "ratings"

And yeah, I joked about India.......BUT...... How many people? Surfing is currently taking off over there.... The south and south west coasts get bloody good surf.... A five year plan should include marketing and a competition in a country with over
1 500 000 multi millionaires. The south west state of Kerala ( one of the surf coasts) has a population of 34 000 000...... And just a mere 72 000 000 in the state of Tamil nadu..... Very parochial people...... I can see their new middle class pressing iphone
screens as we speak, tuning into the surfing roadshow in THEIR country ...... Wait till there's a dynamic flexible yoga like indian champ in 15 years.... He'll be a god to a billion people.....

Then there's little things, like money made through ad ons.... Smart marketing - restructure heaps of "stuff".
EG - Hawaii - Have the asp rated event mobile... Hold end of Nov', 1 st week dec'...
Dvd of the asp year could be on the shelves 2 week dec.... Merry fuckn xmas.... Sell sell sell !!!!!!!!
Still hold pipe masters invitational - top 16 plus 16 wildcards.... Separate dvd, for sale in Jan.... Stuff like that....

Sheepdog

uplift's picture
uplift's picture
uplift commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 6:54pm

'Even if a tradie pulled out their iPhone on the building site, surely they'd really only be able to watch a few ten minute blocks at best.'

The chances of seeing anything remotely exciting in that time frame are themselves remote. Its common to have over 10 minutes of two little guys just bobbing about in the ocean.

Even if Slater is in the selected, tools down, 10 minute time frame, as the Pipe Masters actual final showed, you needed more than 25 minutes of tools down to see anyone, Slater included, catch a wave. Maybe to some Slaters bob is better than whoever's, but, and obviously, to most its a waste of time and money.

You can spruik and squawk and build up 3 foot Rincon Bells, and packs of tiny surfers going near the dangerous rocks as a zomasing spectacle, but it isn't. Its a weak, fat hander that kids can play in and will surf their parents boards onto the rocks at will. Fins will be lost, and heaps of dings, but the kids couldn't care less.

'Maybe they need to rethink the whole model.'

The whole article intrically describes years of failure. The 'model' has never worked. Respraying, rebadging, respruiking and remarketing the Leyland P76 won't result in anything different. Its still a heap of shit, a lemon. A few idiots will buy it.

The NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball, that the ASP wishes to emulate, are where the US school system's, with its unlimited finances and resources, most elite athletes end up. Better than Olympic standard athletes. Trying to convince the world that everyone should pay billions to watch a bunch of squibs doing a few fitball squats, and balancing tricks, stretching rubber bands, calling it training, and bobbing around for prolonged periods, before surfing slop, is and has been conclusively proven to be a lost cause. Hitting the replay button for 20 years, why not, what's another year?

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hollowjono commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 7:51pm

For the record I have watched the ASP on Fuel for the last 18 months and have no complaints with their broadcasting of events. To be honest I am still getting stoked watching surfing events live in HD quality with no buffering delays. This years TV format is noticeably slicker and more professional than previous years and from my experience if the event is running Fuel will be airing it live.

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erikb commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 8:13pm

I think the BWWT will be key for the ASP in the future. My non surfing friends dont understand the difference between one WCT guys wave to the next and has less appreciation for something us surf fans might find very exciting. They do however understand that a BIG wave might kill you and what they are watching is borderline insanity. Take Laird hamiltons mastercard commercial as an example, helloooooo mainstream...

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thermalben commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 8:19pm

erikb wrote: I think the BWWT will be key for the ASP in the future. My non surfing friends dont understand the difference between one WCT guys wave to the next and has less appreciation for something us surf fans might find very exciting. They do however understand that a BIG wave might kill you and what they are watching is borderline insanity. Take Laird hamiltons mastercard commercial as an example, helloooooo mainstream...
Yeah, but there six events throughout the year, all of which have a one-day webcast within a waiting period of several months. It's very hard to tap into any sense of immediacy for non-surfers, with just a couple of days notice every so often (of which the final green light is sometimes made on the day). And sometimes the event doesn't run because the swell window doesn't cooperate. How do you communicate that to the general public? Do they care?

Sure, the post-event highlights of any big wave event will be of great interest to mainstream audiences. But the big bucks are in Live Events. Somehow I don't think even the BWWT will be able to capitalise on this like other sports can.

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thermalben commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 8:14pm

Couple of interesting points about the graph in the article:

1. It shows the Kelly factor in full force. In this example, he surfed twice on the one day - the second time being a "super heat" with John John and Gabs (JJ often being the second highest surfer to bump up the webcast stats).
2. When the event goes on hold, unsurprisingly the audience vanishes almost immediately.
3. After a period of being on hold, the retention rate isn't flash - they seem to lose around 20-30% of the previous audience. This suggests the audience is opportunistic, and fickle. The 'Kelly Factor' in the post-hold heat only boosted the numbers to 25K, where as his earlier heat reached 37K. However the international timezone differences may have contributed to this (the earlier heat was at 10am AEST, or early evening in the Americas whereas the later heat was around 4pm AEST, or after midnight in the Americas).

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jonjon de la souza commented Wednesday, 6 Aug 2014 at 6:14pm

I would say this statement is completely inaccurate :" those who've always watched the sport - are tuning in, plus the occasional celebrity obsessed punter when Kelly dons a vest".
I would say those who watch Kelly Slater's heats are the same that tune in, but a great percentage of those who tune in lose interest once KS loses and therefore stop watching unless the waves are phenomenal.
People who love watching Kelly Slater are all those surfers who followed him for the last 25 years!! His surfing spans so many generations it's obvious a lot more people will tune in. The older generation couldn't give a damn about watching Medina and friends, as they just come across as kids with no charisma nor style whatsoever.
As Shaun Tomson once said around 1991, just before the total dominance of KS had started, "surfing needs popular world Champions. It would be great if someone like KS became a champion".

Unfortunately it won't help the ASP should Medina become a champ. The ASP had better rig the judging in favor of Slater if they want the ASP to survive a few more years. Or Slater had better deliver in the next few contests!

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thermalben commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 8:32pm

10% Portuguese factor about bang on right now as the Womens Round 2 kicks off.

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lockyw1978 commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 9:43pm

As per hollowjono I have Fuel TV: in fact the main reason I subscribe to Foxtel is for the surfing. The ability to record the whole day's action then scan through at night is awesome. The highlights packages at the end of each day are brilliant too. I have a couple of mates in the same boat- MAYBE you can't just ignore the Fuel viewer numbers, dunno...

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alsurf commented Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 10:14pm

Wouldn't viewer numbers in Australia be better during the jbay / eureoleg
Due to the fact we can watch them once we get home . At least if you live on the east coast.

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sbsb commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 2:31am

I'm usually a fan of your analysis Stu but I think you're a bit off the ball on this one. I was reminded of Bill Gates' quote that "no personal computer needs more than 640KB of memory". You can't judge a future environment by what seems to be there today, and in this case all your analysis is "old media thinking" about audiences in relation to two new spheres: surfing as an integrated international tour and webcasts. Both of these are only going to grow in the future, and they are taking viewers away from traditional sports and traditional tv watching.

As you run a sophisticated online platform yourselves, I was surprised you'd dial up a media buyer to talk about total reach as a "tidy metric" when as you'd know this is precisely the area where online is different from broadcast media. This would apply to the Fuel TV and ESPN deals (for which you provide no figures) but not to the webcast. If I'm buying a TV spot I do so because I have to scattershot a large audience I probably don't know much about. If I by an online ad I can target it not just demographically, but through all kinds of prior behaviours in the user profile that make each viewer much more valuable. It is true that the total amount of ad spend in this environment is still far less than mass media channels, but that's not really anything to do with the ASP, that's just the nature of the medium. All sports are moving in this direction and arguably the ASP would be well-placed to pick up a subscription play (a la NBA league pass etc) in the future.

In short I think the online business models for sports are still working themselves out and I think that ZoSea and ASP know this. Now, if their pockets are deep enough to navigate their way through to sustainability is an important question as you say. But given the niche status of surfing as a spectator sport I think it's much more likely that they run a much smaller business than the major sports you speak of, but that they monetize through targeted advertising and subscription content, and for that reason investing in developing a quality online production THAT THEY CONTROL makes a lot of sense whether they are looking at ad-supported or subscription models in the future. It's the first year under the real ZoSea regime, if you ran the numbers on Facebook or Google their early years they wouldn't look so good either! Not saying that surfing content is a media platform but as the old Hollywood movie industry quote goes, "nobody knows anything" and you can't project from today's success to tomorrow.

All in all this article seemed to be driven by the numbers you were able to capture from the webcasts, rather than thinking through what ASP's strategic position is as a newly empowered association that has its own media rights rather than being a coordinator of independent events.

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freeride76 commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 6:16am

"......Both of these are only going to grow in the future, and they are taking viewers away from traditional sports and traditional tv watching."

Are they though SBSB? Because the media landscape is only growing more cluttered and intense in it's desire for viewership. It's just as possible the ASP under the current comp format could lose viewers if the product fails to stimulate short attention spans.

I think I'm a fairly tragic pro surfing fan and I found a lot of this Aussie leg unwatchable dross. Heat after heat in Rnd One, Two and three at gurgly Snapper, Maggie and Bells was just boring. I usually switched off pretty quick and came back to the Slater, JJF .Wilson and Medina heats.
There were highlights at every comp. Parko at Snapper. Slater V Bourez at Maggie , the Slater/JJF/Medina super heat, Julian/Jordy at Bells but jeez , sifting through the caca to find those diamonds was hard work even for the ultra committed fan.

I really think they need to radically re-think format. When you look at high water marks like Occy at Bells for the '97 Skins ...it's obvious these drawn out campaigns that takes days to whittle down the deadwood to get to the Finals are unsustainable as a live sport spectacle. I want more action from those surfers who are truly elite and I want to see it continually throughout a day when the surf is pumping. I want to see new benchmarks...not an average wave score of five or six in grovel surf.

The problem for the ASP though is big top surfing with bums on seats is the ONLY proven business model that pays it way. Want proof: look at the current calendar.
Rio is sponnoed by Bong. Fiji and J-Bay, the two contests universally recognised as the Gold Standard are yet to procure sponsors.

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thegreeniguana commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 6:54am

Great article. I am a pro surfing die hard who eats up the web cast, yet even I find it infuriatingly boring to watch two guys sitting in water waiting for waves rather than actually surfing. When I talk to non surfers who have tuned in here or there to watch something they have always commented that 'they watched a bit but all they did was sit there'. Bells is a classic for this.
For pro surfing to truly become the spectacle that it's touted as, there needs to be a serious change in the format of surfing competitions. Man on man began at the Stubbies in 1978. Maybe it's time has gone. The priority system is conducive to less waves ridden, and tactics rather than surfing dominating the last 5 minutes of a heat. These are just the tip of the ice berg as far a format goes, but as Bobby said 'it's not tennis'.
I'm sure there is a whole new thread and another article warranted regarding potential formats, but I believe that unless ASP are seriously thinking about this there are NO chances of the audience expanding.

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stunet commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 7:02am

SBSB, coupla things:

The 'tidy metric' of total reach was used because most people reading this article, probably the vast majority, wouldn't understand the new media lexicon, leave alone how it works. I have a good grasp on it, yet I also hear people use the new metrics and methods to deliberately bewilder. I didn't want to be one of those people.

And ignore total webcast reach at your peril. You mentioned the scattershot effect of TV advertising whereby only a small percentage of buckshot hits its target audience. Well, this is a surfing webcast, the target audience - surfers - are already watching. Point being, it's only a very small part of the potential target audience. Small enough to be considered a real challenge for below the line advertising (to which you allude).

I don't see it growing anytime soon either. For the reasons Freeride mentioned above, but there's also the Slater factor; when he retires the numbers will go down.

One last thing, how many of the pro surfing tragics watching the webcast would also buy the sponsors wares? Drawing a Venn diagram in my mind I don't see a huge overlap. Yeah it ain't empirical, but nevertheless the pool of ready-to-buy consumers just got smaller.

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freeride76 commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 7:30am

Watching one of the top three surfers in the world: Dane Reynolds, struggling to get over a ten in abysmal summer slop surf was a pretty handy indication of where things are fucked up.

Imagine Dane on an Occy like tear through perfect surf in a one day Skins style format and you've got an idea of what could be.

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wally commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 7:59am

I can't see how you can get over the problem of the waves. If only you could dial up big quality waves, on cue.
It would help if Cloudbreak was at Huntington Beach.

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freeride76 commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 8:13am

If you reduce the time of the comp to one or two days you get over the problem of waves.
Mostly.

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blasphemy-rottmouth commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 8:57am

I would just like to humbly apologize to Stu and Ben.

Not since Freeride's epic defense of Lennox Head against the ASP circus have I enjoyed such a thorough break down of the underlying truth of Professional Surfing. Well done on every level, lads. I didn't think anyone had the balls to publish what many have known for many a moon.

I say balls, because you didn't receive any call backs from the ASP for a reason. And likely won't. You broke their heart, but you stood up for surfing's soul.

Surf contests will never go away completely so long as a chap with enough shekels to screenprint a logo on an umbrella can stake out a spot and pay off a few locals to stay away for a few hours. And that's okay by me.

I'll leave it at that.

Kudos. Bravo. Well done. And all that jazz.

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simba commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 10:05am

Yeah agree with Freeride in the time factor,3 days tops,maybe bring in the top 6 women in a skins event with the men,target better waves(eg Gland) as in dropping brazil or find a better spot in brazil with better waves cause what is on offer at the moment is mind numbing ,poor non surfers wont watch it,boring.Needs to be tightened up a lot but it could work.

simba

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neilridgway commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 10:32am

Hi Stu... Put simply: Being in pro surfing is what a quality surf company does, but at Rip Curl we are mostly in it because we love it. Running those events is more fun than Christmas and one of the most satisfying parts of the working year for our crew. The ROI comes in many forms other than reach - and to be honest - while we ran tight budgets when in control of an ASP License - we didn't care in the end as long as the surf was epic, had a great adventure and we put on a world class show. Reunion, Mexico, Pipe, Chile, Indo, San Fran, Bells - all delivered good times to the surfing audience and that's really valuable for our brand. We'd do it all again tomorrow if we had to, but I sincerely hope the new boys can pull it off now that it's rolling... Nice article. Thanks.

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zenagain commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 10:45am

You should bring back the Search Neil. It was a great concept then and in my opinion, still is a great concept.

Great article Stu and good to hear from BRM above.

Also, Simba it's not only non-surfers that won't watch it. I'm guessing thousands of die-hards have probably put in less than 15 mins of viewing the Brazil contest. I topped out at about 10 and haven't bothered to go back.

Ignorance is Zen

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neilridgway commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 11:02am

This is what consisted of webcast equipment (with a US military communications box to satellite dish on the beach down in La jolla, Mex). Bit different to the semi trailers full of gear and people now. Oh... and it streamed perfectly!

http://imgur.com/FhRwD3p

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simba commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 11:06am

Zen ,the search was awesome stuff,curren and greeny surfing the dream and Ripcurl seems to hold true surfing values and we"ll just have to wait and see where this is all going.Suppose youve got to cut zosea some slack first year at the helm.

simba

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top-to-bottom-bells commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 11:10am

I dont think anyones ever doubted your passion or commitment to pro surfing Neil. Ive even seen you firsthand on the back of a PWC, copping spray in the face but still talking twenty to the dozen while you commentated a heat. It was rough and ready and very different to the current ASP output.

Bring it back I say.

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bdowns commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 11:14am

I sat here in 2006 Mexico Search CT, This is where we are at Bells Beach 2014... Wow!

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mickj commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 11:21am

Dirk Ziff's got pretty deep pockets, I don't think he'd be too worried about the losses just yet.

Some form of pay per view option will clearly be part of the long term monetisation strategy I think, pay walls are going up rapidly around premium online content and I don't see why surfing should be any different.

I think the tennis model is probably a more accurate analogy than the boxing one - Grand Slams likewise run for 2 weeks, the playing surfaces are varied and there's a fair bit of chaff to sort from the wheat before things get interesting.

But when they do, and the big dogs go head to head, its pretty compelling viewing.

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stunet commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 12:14pm

One of the first things Paul Speaker said after ZoSea took control was there'd be no pay per view. He really got on the front foot about that matter. Doesn't mean it won't happen later but ZoSea didn't factor it into their first version business model.

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mickj commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 12:23pm

Fair point Stu but I would be pretty confident it's in the mix for v2.0 ... they're not consolidating all the content just to give it all away forever.

But to be clear too, I think it'll only be part of the monetisation strategy, not all of it ... most sports sell broadcast rights on a hybrid basis, with a premium package available to the committed (eg Fox Footy), and a vanilla version shown on free to air (underpinned by a higher volume of advertising).

ZoSea's strategy for me is content creation and ownership (eg UFC) not just broadcasting.

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top-to-bottom-bells commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 11:22am

Looks like NASA control room.

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neilridgway commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 11:27am

Last one from me... In the commentary booth on Reunion Island when you could talk like a pirate all day ... "Arrrr, me artys... Mick Fanning up and riding ... slashing his way across the seven seas... arrr... arrrr...arrrrr!"


http://imgur.com/ET4stPd

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stunet commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 11:32am

And that's Dave Mailman with you speaking like a pirate? What's that, five languages Mailman can speak then? Good health to both of you, thanks for commenting.

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mitchvg commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 11:34am

I get a real kick out of watching pros grovel. 20 strokes into a 2ft close out. A great ego boost! But granted, it's no, "fuck pipe's tomorrow let's get up early!"

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trippergreenfeet commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 11:38am

Bring on Slater's wavepool.

I'd rather be poor and produce nothing than be an arsehole and conquer the world - Alby Falzon

What time do you like the best? The time on the kitchen wall, or the time it takes to smoke a cigarette? - Sidewinder

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blindboy commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 12:59pm

The enthusiasm Rip Curl has for the Bells event has never been in doubt. The commercial side has always run a distant second to the passion. The same could probably be said about some of the other events and the other companies, if not always, then at least from time to time. But it's not a business plan and for those companies who are publicly listed, allowing their passions to over ride the profit motive is fraught with potential legal consequences. Spending your own money on fun and games is one thing, spending investors money is something else. At this stage, with serious profits in surf clothing long gone, they have to be re-evaluating their promotional strategies as they clearly have not been working for a long time. The reality is that professional surfing has always been a mediocre product in a crowded, highly competitive market. It cannot hold its core audience and has never shown any sign of attracting a wider one. I would like to wish them luck but sadly I can't. Too many puffed up egos, too many drugs, too many $200 board shorts, too many victims, too much promotion of surfing in disregard of the interests of the broader surfing community. I think we would all be better off if it collapsed and took a large part of the industry with it.

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brutus commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 2:39pm

shit Stu,now you've gone and done it......those figures are miniscule ,I wonder what figures ASP used to secure Samsung?

from the looks of your figures the WCT does not look sustainable.......and if Kelly threatens not to continue...is that a turndown in 30% of viewers.............

Imagine Mr Samsung checking out this article???

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zenagain commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 3:01pm

That's Mr Sung. Only his mother calls him Sam.

Ignorance is Zen

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Sheepdog commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 4:17pm

Well, blind boy, my "yin" disagrees with your 12.59pm post.... But my yang nods "yes"....
Conflicted....
As a bloke in his late 40s who used to love pro surfing, I can only say why I rarely tune in..... It's become generic.... No "characters"..... Same thing happening in other sports... Used to love AFL..... Plugger, wacko Jacko, capper, Modra, The flying doormat, Dermie, Dippa.... Characters..... Now it is a bland game with continual rule changes...
Surfing is the same..... MR, Rabbit, Simon, Curren, TC, Potts, Kong, Dane.... The death of Irons was the death of alot more.....
I mean, even Slater is bland..... Parko is doing "don't get pissed" ads.....
Maybe it's age..... The toll of working, family, illness, bills....
But something is missing in modern sport.... So I find myself more attracted to bellator, cos' what you see is what you get..... And Characters.... Who doesn't love the cave man!
Lastly, the judging.... At Bells, which I did watch some of, one of the commentators said that the judges were looking for big turns, and that "tubes" wont score....
Well..... Fuck me!!! Anyone lucky enough to get kegged at Bells should get double points.... I saw a couple of barrel sections that surfers avoided... Ridiculous...
Don't tell the surfers what "you want", judges..... Let them surf their own way..... That's how we get different styles, characters, interest....

Sheepdog

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blindboy commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 4:39pm

The current system is an example of group think sheepdog. The clearer the criteria the more conformist the surfing and that's before you allow for the effect of them all constantly watching each other. The surfers themselves would benefit from a different format.

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rusty-moran commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 5:57pm

Sheepdog, I shudder at the thought of how crowded Indo will be in twenty years when surfers from India roll into good enough money to afford to travel. Heck.

This is a serious problem as I see it. Pro surfing is like a big resource miner moving into your backyard. A few benefit from the mining activity but many suffer the effects of the mining for a long time to come.

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indo-dreaming commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 6:18pm

rusty-moran wrote: Sheepdog, I shudder at the thought of how crowded Indo will be in twenty years when surfers from India roll into good enough money to afford to travel. Heck.

This is a serious problem as I see it. Pro surfing is like a big resource miner moving into your backyard. A few benefit from the mining activity but many suffer the effects of the mining for a long time to come.

Oh god i hope your wrong on that first bit.

So your saying pro surfing only contributes to crowds with the drive/dream of all the wanna be pro groms?

In that case maybe one day we will celebrate the death of pro surfing.

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Sheepdog commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 6:53pm

I shudder at Indo now, rusty.... It was us..... Aussies.... "I've been to Bali too"... Good old Redgum.... We destroyed paradise..... And we continue to do so.....I wont go to Bali..... Haven't been to Bali..... Will never go to Bali.... And I'm a goofy...
But what can one do, rusty? I've talked about the paradox that is surfing before.... Paradise lost.... Byron, Sunny coast..... Even Jeffries.... It shits me too, mate... But what can one do? Move to the coldest part of Australia? :)..... There'll be pissed of local Indians as well..... "bloody Aussies and brazilians coming to India and taking our waves".......Old saying, Rusty - What's the best thing about smashing your head against a brick wall for 20 years straight? - It feels so freekn good when you stop.....

But this is all a bit off topic... My main point was the survival of pro surfing into the future.... As stated to blind boy, part of me cares, but part of me doesn't give a shit.... However, if it wasn't for the competitive nature in surfing, the early amateur days and the pro scene, we'd still all be riding big planks..... It was and always will be competition that inspires design evolution, from mals to shortboards.... Then MR taking us to twinnies with his victories, and then the great man Simon...... The thruster was born out of competition....
So I suppose if we despise what has given us what we have now, what does that say? I'd like to know the average age of us talking here..... Are we sour old men who will never be champions?

Sheepdog

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rusty-moran commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 7:11pm

@indo dreaming, I'm adding to the surfing population by teaching my groms to surf. They are indeed inspired by Mick, Joel and Owen, and we watch some webcasts from time to time.

Having said that, I'm not too keen on the idea of the ASP marketing machine capturing a dormant surfing market simply in order to fuel its own tanks. To me, this is creating crowds solely to increase their market potential.

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Sheepdog commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 8:38pm

"To me, this is creating crowds solely to increase their market potential."
That's business, rusty... And all professional sports are looking for wider audiences and markets.... Sink or swim.... Hence my brick wall comment....

Sheepdog

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simba commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 7:51pm

Rusty,i hate to say it but were all part of the problem all guilty of surfings popularity whether its teaching your groms to surf so once there was one,now theres 2,3 or more of you, to bragging to others about how good surfing is, to sprucing around and looking cool when it was cool years ago to be a surfer.Love it or hate it i cant see pro surfing making a lot of difference eighter way now cause the snowballs rolling,maybe its own popularity will cause it to crash one day.

simba

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Sheepdog commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 8:34pm

Simba, Rusty... Can I ask 3 questions?

1 How did you come across surfing when you were young?

2 - did you ever buy a surf mag when you were a kid?

3 - When you were young, did you get inspired by the pro surfers of the day?

Sheepdog

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hippys commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 8:47pm

i just think the athletes have been forgotten here and that doesn't just mean the pro's on tour. there's grommie's all around the world aspiring to a career in professional surfing no matter what form it takes. Zosea has things to iron out, but if it encourages a healthy lifestyle and life paths, then i am all for it. now in my later years of surfing not just for enjoyment but also health aspects and now benefiting greatly from this, i love my surfing in any conditions.

we, partners and friends are visually being exposed to surfing and events more and more ( whether its watched live or not) overall its exciting, yes it will create more crowds but then ultimately we will create more waves yes bring on "slaters" wavepool . i personally cant wait to see what pops out of this its exciting, fresh n new and healthy. sure there will be opinions that it's not traditional but shit i can live with that. i love all the new forms surfing moves are taking, absorbed by it, not to mention the athletisism of it all. i just hope my grandkids get a crack at the local wavepool. this convenience may drop crowds in the surf . surfing friday night could be like hitting a skate-ramp. dads will be able to take the kids to weekend footy and still get 1 surf in on a weekend.

surfing crowds are a bit like more cars on the planet how are you going to slow that ?

Rip curl search, is it about a lot of things including a wetsuit reputation, not to diminish anything the curl has done for surfing, they have been there, involved and on the ground it is all about the fun. firmly believe in celebrating milestones whatever the cost . Mick fanning world champion i'd like to hear his take in a couple months. actually i'd like to hear all of the guys opinions. cultural change is a difficult pill to swallow but its a shism and for sure it isnt going to go backwards. where it goes who knows, Zosea have the stage to set it up for all the right reasons, i hope they believe in surfing as much as the commentators on this and other blogs. on the up note its opportunity to be on the bus as it unfolds , i 'm on-board and having fun.

Mr Ziff may well have had a dream as kid to be pro surfer , well he's got plenty to inspire him right now !

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Sheepdog commented Friday, 9 May 2014 at 9:05pm

Crikey, Zosea!!!!! Give this "hippys" chap a job in marketing!!!!!! Nice work, hippys.....

Sheepdog

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 5:24am

Good article. Interesting stats ... well done for having the foresight to record the data.

Pro surfing has always suffered due to the variables surrounding the venue; variables difficult to control like wind, tide and swell through to time zones and timing of ideal conditions. Then, throw in the time it takes to run an event, let alone mens and womens at the same location, in the same event period.

The concept of 'wave pools' has been mentioned as part of a solution. And, it does not take a rocket scientist to understand how controlling the waves can then lead to a change in timing of an event. Geez, tennis can run into the night to maximize worldwide audience , and so too could surfing; an option which is unlikely feasible in the open ocean.

And, for the record, I have no association with any wave pool company, either directly or indirectly. You can check my gifts register too ... no free tickets in my boardbag.

We're without a wave pool, so let's look at the other aspect, the timing, let's take just one side, the mens for example ... if, it were reduced to say the top 16, plus say a couple of local wildcards, trials winner and say the highest rated outsider (i.e. surfer outside the 16 at the time of the event) for a total of 20 surfers, the elite athletes, top guns, big name surfers ... the product becomes very different.

Whole 'event' can be run in almost one day ... can fit into swell window, and ideal conditions, and can change to a more gladiatorial 'battle' as someone suggested in the earlier comments, man on man 'boxing type battles' with instant elimination, so the victor, the best on the day, takes the spoils ...

Event locations around the world, using technology to record and telecast ... geez, like neil has shown us, the old technology worked and was way less in volume than now employed. Keep it simple, compact and it's becomes mobile ...

Swell due to hit FIJI next week, righto top 16, we're off to Cloudbreak, pack ya gear, we're going to score ... Chopes, Bells, Kirra, Lennox (yeah, just for you shearer) ... imagine the footage, imagine the 'product' ... imagine the public interest.

And, yep, we'll need wave pools to deal with the masses joining the sport ...

Until then, I'm off to check the surf .... 'cause like all good things in life, I like to participate and not just watch ;)

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 8:05am

Imagine 20 of the worlds best surfers popping into your local on the day of the year.

Ignorance is Zen

trippergreenfeet's picture
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trippergreenfeet commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 8:17am

That make two events for the price of one, pro surfing and beach fights....imagine the ratings!

I'd rather be poor and produce nothing than be an arsehole and conquer the world - Alby Falzon

What time do you like the best? The time on the kitchen wall, or the time it takes to smoke a cigarette? - Sidewinder

wally's picture
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wally commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 8:46am

And the mass arrests. In most places, you require pre-approval from the local authorities, with all sorts of negotiated conditions, fees and legal documents.
Just rock up and you would soon be speaking to some very stern-faced uniformed people.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 10:40am

yeah Tripper, ufc and surfing rolled into one sounds awesome.

simba

sypkan's picture
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sypkan commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 11:23am

It just sounds like the surfing industry's 40 year jungket has come to an end.

Yeh Mr ridgeway it sounds like it was a lot of fun, because we paid, blindboy has been saying this for a long time.

Ironic that the surfing business model belatedly becoming professional challenges professional surfing, loving it

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 12:03pm

The surfing industry seems to have been created, and until recently mainly staffed, by people who just dreamed of having a job where they could get off work when the surf was good.
It is a bit unfair to blame them for over crowded conditions. Surfing was not going to be kept a secret. It is board improvements that have driven the growth of the activity. The planet is overcrowded, you can't quarantine surfing.
Always remember, there would be less of a crowd if you weren't out there. And whatever your own employment, there are probably pluses and minuses in terms of its societal contribution. Get off the high horse.
At least quality surf breaks are now valued as economic and cultural assets, which helps to protect them.
It is also a bit funny to use this website, primarily devoted to telling people where the waves are, to condemn some other aspect of surfing because it might promote crowds.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 4:26pm

wally, I knew quite a few in the industry whose surfing time was pretty minimal. I think you need to factor in concepts like "business opportunity" and "street cred" to explain their behaviour. Obviously the industry was not the only factor in the growth of the surfing population but since their business model clearly included that you are being naive to think that they have no responsibility for the current crowd levels, currently estimated to be growing 20% faster than our ageing population.
The irony is that in the end the mass market liked the waves but didn't like the clothes!

the-roller's picture
the-roller's picture
the-roller commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 12:50pm

The construction and materials seems the same.... Lets hope that ASP table hold up in an argument better than this one!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2edtLzQeMMY

davetherave's picture
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davetherave commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 3:12pm

There is a great article on Swellnet about the ASP online viewership and it's financial sustainability. The article is a great guideline for the ASP to start planning for sustainable success. That means being adaptable. The contest in Brazil is the classic indicator as have all the contests at some stages this year.
Waves are crucial, It's not magnetic enough to keep viewership interested unless theres good waves. So I invite you to consider a strategy with all sponsors and support networks to move away from a schedule and big contest infrastructure set ups and more towards swell events. These can be predicted earlier and easier now. Imagine the excitement this would generate. All of a sudden theres an announcement a good swell is going to hit a location and the contest is on next week.
Even the mainstream media would be frothing over the fact the contest is going to hit a contestable location and there's going to be good waves.
Logistically not impossible this day and age. Your have your teams all prepared for the locations, the surfers have to be aware that they will get one weeks notice. Sponsors will love this, the public will tune in bigtime because anticipation and the unknown are very powerful motivating forces. It doesn't have to be 8 feet, but at least allow the surfers to showcase fantastic talents.
The local councils could easily be negotiated with as the new news would generate free advertising and promotion and if it clashed with another event, there would be another swell event somewhere else that wouldn't clash.
Surfers have always followed the swell, it's the foundation of the surfing lifestyle and culture.
AS a lover of surfing, please put this on the table and think about it, at least let KP read my suggestion as well as the powers that be, I reckon Zosea and Samsung would love it-anticipation, promotion, excitement and evolution, its a win win.

davetherave

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 10:39am

davetherave wrote: ... So I invite you to consider a strategy with all sponsors and support networks to move away from a schedule and big contest infrastructure set ups and more towards swell events. These can be predicted earlier and easier now. Imagine the excitement this would generate. All of a sudden theres an announcement a good swell is going to hit a location and the contest is on next week.
Even the mainstream media would be frothing over the fact the contest is going to hit a contestable location and there's going to be good waves ...

Ah, yep, exactly ...

And, yep, approvals and logistic much much easier with less competitors. Bring back the elite top 16!

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

uplift's picture
uplift's picture
uplift commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 6:54pm

That stuff's got some good features. Plus they should ditch the heat format. Put the things back that make the best surfers stand out comp or not. When its pumping anywhere, its not hard to see who really rules the lineup.

If the above post could somehow work, and waves weren't an issue, 6 guys in a heat. No gimpy priority. If its truly competition that is wanted, then get real. Compete for waves. Paddling is important. If you need a ski, because you can't or are too fucked to get back out, you shouldn't be out there. If some one can paddle you into the ground, you shouldn't be claiming to be an elite athlete.

Like wise, if someone hassles you, shifts you around a bit, or stink eyes you, as happens relentlessly in other sports, and you shit yourself, it, elite competitor is not for you. In all top sports, everyone knows the guys that can easily be intimidated. Think Westhoff/Geelong. Worsfold/Modra. Public buttwhippings. Maidana/ Mayweather, but elite still shines. Just like other sports, how far you can take it, could be in the rules. It happens in any lineup day in, day out, but the best still always shine through regardless of whats going on around them. Being able to regularly make insane drops, the best wave knowledge, and being able to own your space are some things that seperate the elite. Penalties could apply for taking risks, but blowing drops. Points to the other competitors, plus a loss of points to the blowee. Penalties for dropping in. Penalties for claiming the inside and then pulling back (old yella). Just like real surfing. Something has to change anyway.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 8:08pm

It always comes back to wave quality without good waves the rest means nothing, it 2014 you would think on site crowds are not that imoprtant compared to grabbing a world wide audience.

The fact that there is no event in Indonesia is criminal, everyone knows Indo has arguably the highest quality most consistent waves on earth.

Piss off Margarets and Rio and slot in two comps in Indo :P

Macaronis (yeah i know total logistic nighmare, but the tour needs a rippable consistent left, and its the best in the world, consistent, all tides, great even in light on shores, they had a big mobil style comp in the mentawais years and years ago i think Occy won it (or maybe it was kandui and E-bay?), internet connection is getting better every year and resort has it.

Or like this http://asia.ripcurl.com/the-king-of-macaronis.html

Lakey peak, right and lefts, rippable but barrels, viewing tower for media, plenty of accommodation, early season when theres swell and trades aren't to strong yet, but a light cross shore on rights would be good for airs anyway, then theres the arvo glass off, again all tide break and consistent.

Like this http://www.asiansurfingtour.com/content/event-reports/round-one-of-the-r...

Tempting to suggest places like G-land and Ullus, but with Fiji and tahiti and pipe, i think the super hollow left thing is covered.

Captain Kai's picture
Captain Kai's picture
Captain Kai commented Saturday, 10 May 2014 at 10:48pm

Wow, what a great article. As someone who has commentated and worked on webcasts locally, this really helped paint the real picture. Could be that the time has never been more ripe for that rebel tour...

davetherave's picture
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davetherave commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 12:50am

good to see the head ridgey again, havent seen you since u caste me in your dodgy video at uni. wheres the real deal muppet? if you think neil ridgeway is a character, u aint seen nothing till u see his bro pauli, good boys both of them, say hi to muppet for me and no doubt he is still as loud and full of it as his uni days.
bring back the search, get back to your roots gourie man, everyone loves a surf adventure

davetherave

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wesley commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 5:07am

Watched about 10 mins of Brazil comp last night, 2 foot onshore dribbling slop. I felt sorry for the poor bastards out there.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 7:22am

Last night's stats (Saturday Brazil time) really show just how disinterested viewers are in small average waves.

Womens's Round 4 (four heats, first up) reached a peak concurrent viewership of just over 8,000 (the trend climbed slowly all morning, starting off at 2,000 for Heat 1 and peaking at the end of Heat 4). 

Men's Round 2 Peaked at just over 18,000 concurrent viewers at the end of Heat 2 (around an hour after the Womens Round 4 finished), before tapering off quickly, and then fluctuating between 13,000 - 16,000 for the rest of the day. 

Who was in Heat 2? Kelly Slater.

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 10:47am

thermalben wrote:

Last night's stats (Saturday Brazil time) really show just how disinterested viewers are in small average waves.

...

Yep, the "product" is all wrong ...

The ASP needs to have the athletes, the surfers, seen on the same level as other elite athletes, whether compared to tennis, golf, basketball, baseball, soccer, etc and that is not going to happen when they are out competing in sloppy conditions. Feels like it's gone back to the old, have an event where the people are, rather than, have an event with the best waves ... why?

The Brazilians must be very unhappy to have this event being run in their country in in such crap conditions. And surely, the ASP, must now be thinking about a venue change ... they've rolled the dice and pushed the Brazilians, and now they have this "product' going out to the world. Time for some quick decisions and action?

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

trippergreenfeet's picture
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trippergreenfeet commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 9:04am

Ben, I take it the metrics do not include Heat Analyser.

I'd rather be poor and produce nothing than be an arsehole and conquer the world - Alby Falzon

What time do you like the best? The time on the kitchen wall, or the time it takes to smoke a cigarette? - Sidewinder

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 9:32am

No, they don't. 

In any case, the Heat Analyser stats are also very low. You can see the individual heat viewer stats here.

Although the Men's Round 2 video uploads are only between nine and three hours old (depending on what time the heat was surfed), only one Heat Analyser clip has done more than 1,000 views (guess who? Kelly Slater, with 1,015 views at the time I last checked: see below).

Mick Fanning's upset loss to David do Carmo has only amassed 905 views so far, with most of the other clips sitting around 300 views.

So right now, the Round 2 Heat Analyser clips have totalled 5,086 views, averaging 424 views per heat.

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 10:50am

trippergreenfeet wrote: Ben, I take it the metrics do not include Heat Analyser.

Nor, Foxtel Fuel Channel, etc ...

Any chance Foxtel, Fuel Channel can give viewer stats? Being cable service, mainly, here in Oz anyway and their fancy IQ boxes, can they track who is watching what? And if so, would they publish those numbers?

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

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trippergreenfeet commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 10:01am

Im surprised more people are not using Heat Analyser, not just to avoid the inane commentary, but to not waste downloads on heats full of crap surf. The kind of surf that most of us would would pass up for a good feed.

I'd rather be poor and produce nothing than be an arsehole and conquer the world - Alby Falzon

What time do you like the best? The time on the kitchen wall, or the time it takes to smoke a cigarette? - Sidewinder

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 10:41am

trippergreenfeet wrote: Im surprised more people are not using Heat Analyser, not just to avoid the inane commentary, but to not waste downloads on heats full of crap surf. The kind of surf that most of us would would pass up for a good feed.

Exactly the solution I use when the waves are slop like they are for the current comp ...

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

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memlasurf commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 10:35am

Round 2 surf was the wrong choice of words as there was none. This is getting really silly. I don't care how much money they think they can make this contest site is wrong. No one can honestly defend it with a bunch of weasel corporate verbiage. It has to go next year and I think the surfers if they have any intestical fortitude should boycott it. It is akin to watching motogp on scooters. Piss it off once and for all.

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Sheepdog commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 11:17am

Memla, the coast between Salvador ( a city bigger than Sydney) and Recife (Bigger than Adelaide) has been pumping all week..... Another 6 foot swell is on the way for that more consistent coastline.....
http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/display.cgi?a=brazs2_wave

Sheepdog

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 9:36am

Thanks SD. I watched a documentary on Brasil not long back and this area looked really interesting almost like another country. It had a majority of black or coloured races and was a lot poorer than Rio. Very different vibe than further south would like to visit it. Not sure on what the surf setups are there. I was talking to a Zilla in Bali last year and bagged his home countries surf and he agreed, a land of F#$%&# beach breaks was his comment, maybe that is why there is soooo many there outnumber Aussies about 3 to 1.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 11:07am

Be interesting too see how much the stats change when fiji comes on in a few weeks,hope they get it firing.

simba

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 11:28am

They have to find a sponsor for it first, otherwise it's coming out of Dirk Ziff's loose change.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 11:43am

Free ride... What would the sponsorship cost?

Sheepdog

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 11:52am

You wanna run a meat-tray to raise the sponno SD?

I think a million and a half will your name in lights: The SheepDog Fiji Pro.

wally's picture
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wally commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 12:00pm

For Cloudbreak and Teahupoo, maybe a lime juice company could sponsor.

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 12:14pm

Nahh, I was thinking "The Fiji Free Ride Voice pro"...... Got a great ring to it......

How about the "The Barney Army Fiji Pro"..... Old barney should have a few bucks...... crucial promotion for his country.....

Sheepdog

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 12:02pm

One thing the ASP should do is rename the World Championship Tour (WCT). That is such a generic, any sport name that it does nothing for it in the marketplace.

It should look for a name that is more descriptive, that also gives the ASP brand consistency. Now that the ASP owns the Big Wave World Tour (BWWT), it would seem to provide an excellent template.
I would suggest that the ASP have the 2 male tours entitled;
The Big Wave World Tour (BWWT)
and,
The Not So Big Wave World Tour (NSBWWT)

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 2:14pm

And, with the rename of the World Championship Tour (WCT) to the Not So Big Wave World Tour (NSBWWT), it could then be snappily rebranded as the NotSo, for short.

I really shouldn't be giving away these great ideas for free.

thelostclimber's picture
thelostclimber's picture
thelostclimber commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 6:53pm

How about the 2FTSFFBS(ASMTALP)WT
2 ft slop Flippy Flippy Bull Shit (Adapted Skateboard Moves That Arent Landed Properly) World Tour

Now thats got a ring to it.

uplift's picture
uplift's picture
uplift commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 2:16pm

Or 'SQUIRST', Squirts riding slop tour. Or, 'WUSSQUIRST', Worlds unbelievably smallest squirts riding slop tour. Zomasing.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 3:54pm

Yep it's best in good waves.
It's best if it's wrapped up in a day.
It's best if it can be scheduled.

So the options available are:
A multi wave pool event.
Top 16 only in a pool event.
Top 16 only in a swell chasing event.

The wavepool could really work, and I suspect that is the intended direction of Kelly, ZoSea etc. It certainly appears that way.

But the world wide swell event model is the way I'd love to see it go. I think that would be exciting, 3 or 4 days of anticipation for a 1 day event would bring in the viewers.

Money will unfortunately decide it.

I definitely think the boxing, skins or top 16 format needs to explored as the ability to schedule it is greatly enhanced. It's a big reason why other codes succeed. I was all for the rebel tour.

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 3:57pm

A wave pool would be like watching a porno with someone having sex with a blow up doll...... Not interested ;)

Sheepdog

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 4:02pm

SD you had to bring sex into it didnt you...........

simba

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 4:13pm

Sorry, Simba lol......... Mate, just not interested..... Wave pool wave shmool.....
Anyway, maybe the big coal miners could sponsor it...... Doubt if they'd be using renewables to power the thing...... I'd take it all the climate change advocates and surfy enviro heads would boycott the event..........
Yeah, just shit stirring now, simba ;)

Sheepdog

shoredump's picture
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shoredump commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 5:13pm

Internet is run on coal Sheepy. Not that I support dirty fuels, just sayin..
Great analogy by the way, I think it fits quite, erm, snug.
The thing is though they don't care about you so much. There's a master plan behind all this, & that's a profit. That's where the masses come in, and they would probably relate to pool riding better, no?

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 5:21pm

Not in Tassie, shoredump ;)... Hydro down here mate.... HEY!!! That's it!!! Wave pool in tassie!!!!! Hmm, undercover,,, heated water..... Night surfing..... Powered by hydro elctricity..... Tourism for Hobart....... Sweet.... Thanx for the inspiration, shoredump :)

Sheepdog

thelostclimber's picture
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thelostclimber commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 5:40pm

Rather than getting caught up in whatever comments have been made since the article was posted Ive skipped all that and will say this.

Very interesting article and analysis. I would have to agree with pretty much all the points made.
I'd like to add a few points
- When working in China I asked a Scottish friend and some Chinese friends if he knew who Kelly Slater is - answer - no idea. So despite what we think the majority of people dont give a rats about surfing or KS. But pretty much everyone in the world has heard of Roger Federer and David Beckham.
- You can advertise on Facebook with audience targeted ads and reach 20000/day for only $10/day. Seems a lot more economical.
Now I'll go back and read comments and probably make another comment or 2

wally's picture
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wally commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 9:35pm

Nick Carroll made a well expressed point on Realsurf. I thought I would take the liberty of copying it over here.
Nick had implied that the Rio contest is not a high point in sports entertainment and said Zosea would probably have a cold hard look at it. He was later asked, "what other sport exists where such a large percentage of it's fan base is collectively declaring an entire event as utter shit?"
Nick Carroll replied,
"Mate every sport on earth.

The refs are shit. The owners are all evil. Every team but yours is shit, corrupt, cheating, useless or otherwise spavined. The organisers are a joke. The Olympics is unwatchable, disgusting, a giant conspiracy to defraud innocent people and poor uncultured nations of their sovereign wealth. This is a universal theme of sports fandom throughout history. Sport gives rise to the most extraordinary array of human emotions, most of which don't have much to do with the sport at all, and far more to do with the ability of sports to draw forth the transference of a fan's emotions from other areas of his or her or their lives into the safely external theatre of sporting conflict. And the more people hate a given sport, or at least various people or institutions within a given sport, the more popular it gets.

Like people on here and elsewhere are always going about how they don't give a shit about pro surfing, etc etc. But why are they even bothering saying so? They say it over and over again, dozens of times a year. It's amazing how much people want to make it clear how much they despise the ASP, how fcuked the judging is, how it's all rigged, etc etc etc etc etc. They're all hopeless pro surfing tragics."

sypkan's picture
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sypkan commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 10:21am

detractors are not "pro surfing tragics" my friend, we bag it because we do not understand what you guys get out of promoting it. you guys are selling it, promoting it, talking it up (in a sickening misleading manner as stunet's article has shown, increasing markets, blah blah blah. for what?

To increase already crowded line ups, we don't understand you

yeh we have heard the bullshit about pushing limits, elite athleticism, technological improvement, blah blah blah, yeh it speeds up the process but these developments would come anyway

sometimes i surf a 70s single fin at an isolated reef with no one watching, sometimes these are the most fun surfs I have all year, that is what surfing is about to a lot of people.

and all you guys that want to sell sell sell it, well it feels like you are prostituting my sister, that's why we constantly comment about it, and if you could see past your own little world, you might be able to appreciate that not everyone cares about the media driven mainstream.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 9:59pm

yeah but this time Stu has produced cold hard facts to the contrary...IE people really don't give a fuck, or are voting with their eyeballs.

talking about the ASP here has been multiples more entertaining that watching the actual contest in Rio and the stats back that up.

kaiser's picture
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kaiser commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 10:15pm

I was watching last night in the absence of anything else to do...

I think it was Pat Parnell commentating, and he was announcing an upcoming heat between Coco Ho and Laura Enever. He somehow did a spoonerism of 'Ho' and 'Laura' and called Coco Ho 'Coco Whore'. Twas the highlight of the viewing experience

Poor Coco, as if her surname wasn't already awkward enough...

uplift's picture
uplift's picture
uplift commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 10:21pm

That's funny. US high school sports are a zillion times more popular than pro surfing. Numbers don't lie, the results for pro surfing have been the same for years and years. No change. Why was Nick Carrol's comment so valid? What is his experience at an elite level in other sports, besides the activity of surfing?

Again, the elitist, the very best athletes from the virtually resource unlimited, massive US school system end up in the big 3 professional sports that surfing wants to emulate. Athletes that are the best of the best, even compared to Olympic athletes. What pro surfers are athletically remotely in that calibre.

Here's an example.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1041182-top-50-athletes-in-the-nfl

Here's a guy that can barely make the cut.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdSo0lQ0rdY

If someone wants to be payed as an elite athlete, its a big call, and competition for a paying viewer base is fierce. Educated fans see the best, and have for some time, and have an idea what it takes to be that. Its fine to advertise your Hillman Imp with a respray, blacked out tires, spoiler, racing stripes and flared guards, doing the quarter mile in 25 seconds, top speed 65mph, as a world class, high performance thoroughbred. When the buyers roll up, and see the thing though, good luck. It might pay to be a world class sprinter.

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 11:07pm

I think Nick's point was, for many folk, a strong and continuous annoyance about something is not usually a sign of a lack of interest in it, it is usually quite the opposite.

stray-gator_2's picture
stray-gator_2's picture
stray-gator_2 commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 11:11pm

Way to miss the point, asshat.

If people aren't watching, it's because of a lack of size, frequency or scariness in the waves, not because the people riding them can't slam dunk, run a sub-ten 100 metres, bench press three times their weight, or knock their opponent into next week.

Check the numbers for the Code Red day at Chopes two or three years ago. That's assuming you can count past 7, of course.

Fuck you're boring. Go back to your train set and leave the thinking to those of us with frontal lobes.

I aim to give you something that you can keep for life. A bit like herpes. My techniques are not available in any book or course; what would scientists know? I have played with model trains for 40 plus years.

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uplift's picture
uplift commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 11:34pm

'I think Nick's point was, for many folk, a strong and continuous annoyance about something is not usually a sign of a lack of interest in it, it is usually quite the opposite.'

OK you win. The ever gateless, clueless, athleticless, dim witted corkhead, the Elite Bronzed Gimp is classic proof. He savoured my every word, and clips... again I brought meaning to his useless life.

If the big three US sports athletes presented at the athletic level of pro surfers, fans would be rioting all over the country and demanding their money back. heads would roll.

stray-gator_2's picture
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stray-gator_2 commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 6:40am

That's it - keep stating your hypothesis until we're ALL SO FUCKING BORED WITH IT that we want to throw up and throw in the towel.

Athleticism or lack of it has nothing to do with getting eyeballs on screens to watch pro surfing.

That's what this thread is about. Not fucking baseball, gridiron or basketball. Now, take your steroids like a good boy and give yourself an uppercut.

I aim to give you something that you can keep for life. A bit like herpes. My techniques are not available in any book or course; what would scientists know? I have played with model trains for 40 plus years.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 2:38pm

Stray-gator you and uplift make good sparing partners it is like text boxing. I am on your side with surfing. Athleticism is only one part of the whole deal with surfing, not all Olympic sports depend exclusively on athleticism (shooting, dressage) so surfers don't need to be steroided up like some beefy sprinter. And why are we calling them athletes anyway there is already a word invented it is called surfers. Who wants be a athlete anyway, I got into surfing to avoid the structure of life in general and have fun, and I bet most, if not all the guys on the WCT did as well. If you want athletes watch the track and field events (and if you thought the Rio comp was boring there is one to really send you into snoozeville) otherwise tune in and watch the competitors in a surfing event or, hang on, just surfers.

stray-gator_2's picture
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stray-gator_2 commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 5:15pm

Memla, thanks but no thanks. There's no spa big enough to take that bloke, his ego and somebody else.

I aim to give you something that you can keep for life. A bit like herpes. My techniques are not available in any book or course; what would scientists know? I have played with model trains for 40 plus years.

mitchvg's picture
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mitchvg commented Sunday, 11 May 2014 at 11:36pm

There'll be some Hossegor like still shots tomorrow... what's happening with the photog situation btw?

southernsealspirit's picture
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southernsealspirit commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 6:46am

This is a great article , thanks
Cool to see Rip Curl in there with the comments on the search
The Skins concept rocks
Wait till the surf pumps and go
And when I first saw the pros at G Land, like. Neil said, stick to dream locations where these guys and girls can show just how good they are
Just saw the highlights from Rio, had my attention for 23 seconds, lame
The girls are the most interesting thing going , the billionaires wife must be stoked on that
I suppose we all wait for wave pools and hope the King goes on forever
Until then, I'm going surfing, not sitting around listening to Joey blabber about two tiny specs on my IPhone waiting for the next close out....

Geoffro

fitzroy-21's picture
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fitzroy-21 commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 7:34am

All these comments on wave pools but we still haven't seen one built that fulfills all the promises. I can't see it being an option until we see one that works and impresses the masses and that could be decades away by the way things are going.

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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 8:25am

And even when or if it does happen does anyone seriously want to see a tour full of wave pool events?...

If they end up making the waves they say they can then sure i think one event on tour would be good to mix it up and provide a totally level playing field, but more than that and to me it would be boring.

Sure a lot of the natural elements we whinge about on one hand suck but on the other they also make it.

Thats whats good about some comps like bells, or anywhere really, it might be 3 foot fatness but there is always a chance it could be 10ft walls, then even in a heat no one knows what waves are coming, like in the heat last year at pipe with Kelly and Mick, and Mick ended up getting the bomb in the last minute or so, even things like positioning are elements of pro surfing that sometimes suck but are also a bigger part of it all.

The unknown aspect of what is going to happen next the surprise factor and constant change of conditions i think is something surfers underrate.....take for example the rip curls search, why did people love it?....its because of the unknown they don't show us pics of pipe or g-land, they show us places we don't know and then they don't let us in on it..which is even better.

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freeride76 commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 8:24am

Absolutely Fitzy.

So far Wavegarden seems to be the head of the pack and I haven't seen anything there except weak as piss dribblers for kids.

We'll see what happens with this Greg Webber wavepool slated for SEQLD.

Sooner or later they have to deliver on the hype....................or not.

simba's picture
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simba commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 9:11am

so far the scoring in the Rio contest seems to be spot on,no favourtism yet.

simba

mk1's picture
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mk1 commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 9:23am

For my part I like to review the heat analyzer (only checking the individual waves if the surfers total is over about 14, or their first initial is J) and then watch the pointy end live if possible (timezones). Not sure if this method of consuming the content is being adequately captured in the research.

Having said that we (the live viewers) probably aren't the real sales targets. If the global mega businesses who purchase from ZoSea get to use a cool clip of a guy ripping in some far flung tropical location with "Congrats J. XYZ for the amazing win on tropical Heard Island" to non surfers (IE. sell the dream) than perhaps that is enough. After all, how did the tour survive the 80s on latenight TV highlights packages 7 months after the fact?

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ant shannon commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 9:25am

That's a really great article.

The viewing numbers are so very low.

Surfing and surf brands have always had the 'should we be mainstream or alternative' debate going on.
Sponsoring a surf event legitimised a surf brand. What happens if the events become mainstream in an effort to attract a wider audience?

Are the events to long? How do you lose a heat and still progress?
How do you judge a ride simply? Why are we watching surfers waiting for a wave? Where are the personalities? Is it the same 40,000 or so watching each event?

I reckon more people watched the Rip Curl GPS ad than the Bells Comp.

It will be interesting watching what happens behind the scenes over the next year.

Ants

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Sheepdog commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 9:37am

Do we have the technology for microphones on the surfers?
Cams on boards? So much could be done...
Re actual heats-
3 waves, not 2...... More variables, more interesting
The "parko/slater kirra" thing shows the priority rule is flawed... If someone is up and riding, it's their wave.... In fact , scrap the "feel good" priority rule... bring a bit of mongrel back into it... Yeah no grabbing leggies or deliberate contact... That many camera angles picks up all that stuff... But clean hassling and jostling would make things a bit spicier....

Sheepdog

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 5:22am

Sheepdog wrote: ... the priority rule is flawed... If someone is up and riding, it's their wave...

YES !

Have priority system for the hassle at take off, but once a surfer is on their feet ... no dice.

That would have changed a fair few results in history, and made the entertainment factor a whole lot better.

Simple change to make by ASP, and will no doubt change the last 5 mins of a lot of heats. No more sitting down the line with priority waiting to drop in if the other surfer gets a good one ...

Heck, could it even "teach" the surfing public that dropping in is no longer the go? Yeah, I know, hopeless optimism ;)

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

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uplift commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 12:15pm

'Athleticism or lack of it has nothing to do with getting eyeballs on screens to watch pro surfing.

That's what this thread is about. Not fucking baseball, gridiron or basketball.'

Its exactly what the ASP/Zozea are trying to push, are trying to convince the public. That surfers are elite athletes... they are bandying the term about everywhere in the sales pitch. And they have made it crystal clear that they are trying to emulate those big three sports. To be elite at that level means above Olympic standard athlete. No pro surfer is remotely at that level.

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trippergreenfeet commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 12:29pm

uplift wrote: To be elite at that level means above Olympic standard athlete. No pro surfer is remotely at that level.

Of course no pro surfer can gain Olympic Standard, cause an Olympic Standard is yet to be set.

So by your figuring, Curling athletes are "elite" above and beyond pro surfers cause Curling is an Olympic sport, puhlease

I'd rather be poor and produce nothing than be an arsehole and conquer the world - Alby Falzon

What time do you like the best? The time on the kitchen wall, or the time it takes to smoke a cigarette? - Sidewinder

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wingnut2443 commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 5:15am

uplift wrote: ... To be elite at that level means above Olympic standard athlete. No pro surfer is remotely at that level.

WTF?

Sorry, couldn't disagree more ... the top 5, maybe 10 guys are well and truly "elite" by any measurement standard. Any of the guys on the WCT would match most athletes in any other sport ...

Do you even surf and know what it takes to surf at the level those guys do?

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

uplift's picture
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uplift commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 12:49pm

No trippy, but surfing isn't openly trying to emulate curling, it was made clear the big three were the target. Curling would be more feasible though, as long as the stones were exceptionally light.

stray-gator_2's picture
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stray-gator_2 commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 7:05pm

Spoken by someone with exceptionally light stones.

I aim to give you something that you can keep for life. A bit like herpes. My techniques are not available in any book or course; what would scientists know? I have played with model trains for 40 plus years.

uplift's picture
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uplift commented Monday, 12 May 2014 at 7:42pm

'I think Nick's point was, for many folk, a strong and continuous annoyance about something is not usually a sign of a lack of interest in it, it is usually quite the opposite.'

Again, the gateless, athleticless oneder, 'The Elite Bronzed Gimp', is a classic example.

True memla, as you assert, the surfers should stop calling themselves athletes, as they obviously aren't. What are the other things that you think the fans will pay big money for, the money that the surfees are chasing, that the fans haven't remotely been interested in in the past?

'tune in and watch the competitors in a surfing event or, hang on, just surfers.'

No one wants to, or has wanted to for around 30 years, thats what the article is about... just in case you didn't realise or notice. Not too hard to get a seat.

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southey commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 1:03am

Uplift , your grasp on the topic is ... again . Amasing .......

Athletes !! get over yourself .... Baseball yeah up there with cricket for athletism .
Actually cricket leaves baseball in it wake ... ( and thats saying something ) .

But all of that is off the topic . You drag it there .

The only validity in your comments is that they are trying to model the BROADCAST on those three sports ... only that they are team sports ?!! End of story ...

Lose the Athlete tag .... no one except you take it seriously .... so you can now go back to your " alibi's " for missing epic blax .

PS speaking of americanism's ... doe anyone else think " Dodgeball " whne they listen to the Broadcast ... unfortunately due to lack of comedic relief Jason Bateman's character is not seen or heard of .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

blasphemy-rottmouth's picture
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blasphemy-rottmouth commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 5:59am

Just a small FYI...

This audience information has been documented on Twitter for well over two years. Going back to last year, when Pipeline was going off for the Volcom contest and there was a "Super Heat" with JOB, John John Florence, and Bruce Irons (Kelly Won the contest I believe). Almost flawless conditions. The ratings topped out at 15k. Though not a WCT contest, all the big names were there.

That was posted on Twitter. Broadcast on YouTube, just like the contests are now.

The question:

Has Pro Surfing EVER been about the WAVES or SURFING? It certainly was NEVER for profit. It certainly fulfilled SOME people's dreams.

Just a thought.

the-roller's picture
the-roller's picture
the-roller commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 6:44am

Yea, fluffy bunnie, no one watches. comments on. or buys anything surfing.

And the entrants are nothing close to world class athletes. No one is making any money. They do it all for free.

Just a thought. Heh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwhZiVI-tuI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtEewwjvbRs

blasphemy-rottmouth's picture
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blasphemy-rottmouth commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 8:26am

Also,

It's not like the ASP, its commentators, and the surf media who went along with the rouse were off by just a few heads for the last few decades.

They've been off by TWO WHOLE ZEROES when it comes to misunderstanding & or lying about their audience.

As someone astutely mentioned earlier, when companies like Rip Curl are paying puppets like Neil Ridgway to say or condone things like "millions of viewers" over and over in the commentating both to a "public audience" without that company ever reigning it in... then have it repeated by Surf Magazines who get ad revenue from Rip Curl... you gots some big time collusion. Not to mention fully public companies like Quik and Bong.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 8:23am

An interesting corollary to the above article is the tactics Hurley has used in recent years. What they do in the professional surfing sphere is worth watching for two reasons, (1) they are the company with the deepest pockets, and (2) they are the company with the least amount of tradition in pro surfing.

Although they may lack history Hurley sponsor many more surfers than the other big companies, but importantly they don't spend a corresponding amount on contests (Trestles Pro being their only WT). Their thinking, and Swellnet has been told on good authority, is that it makes no sense to sponsor both surfers and competitions. Michel Bourez is a Hurley surfer and he just won the Billabong Pro Rio. Photos of Bourez are currently swarming across the web, and what's that you see in the background of every shot? A very prominent Hurley symbol.

The same goes after every heat, or during every heat interview featuring a Hurley surfer, or during every beach cross where Hurley surfers are skulking around with earphones and logo-adorned duds. Hurley's thinking is this: Why stump up the big bucks for contest infrastructure if rival companies are photobombing every shot with their logos.

When they did commit to pro surfing contest it was the dead ahead, bums on seats approach - Huntington and Manly. They made no bones about it.

If it's not a more honest approach at least you can say there's less pretense of a Dream Tour. And despite having the resources they never committed to the WT as others did so you could safely assume they were aware all along what the numbers were.

the-roller's picture
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the-roller commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 8:54am

Spot on, Stu. And there are quite a few other sponos with pockets deep.

as to ms. bunnie boy, you are aware you are suffering the Misinformation Effect...

not to mention, Storage Decay. with a side order of Confabulation takeaway.

by definition confabulation does not have to be limited to those with dementia. as one could unintentionally create false events as well. as Confabulation has been described as a blurring of reality with fantasy

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 9:02am

I dunno, seems after a lengthy hiatus he's come back quite balanced and lucid. I quite agree with what he's saying and this article supports that nicely.

Some excellent posts here gents, tying in with an equally well written article.

Ignorance is Zen

the-roller's picture
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the-roller commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 11:16am

has anyone ever been around someone who constantly complains over free samples?

how about someone who whinges over a free buffet that lasts two weeks?

uplift's picture
uplift's picture
uplift commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 1:05pm

What would the 'broadcast' be, that is, the viewer numbers be, without the elite athletes soufle'?

Your comment on baseball shows your total inexperience and lack of knowledge re top level, international sport soufle'. I have played and trained with US athletes that were All American in the 3 codes the ASP are trying to mimic. Baseball is the favoured sport by some of the elite of the elite, due to prolonged careers, meaning huge salaries, with the least chance of injury, and best lifestyle.

Here's a very recent quote from Sean Foley, who coaches elite golfers, and whom Tiger Woods sought out as coach, when he was asked how a golfer can improve quickly.

'Increase power. Power is a function of being able to have the pelvic area go from flexion to extension. I watch a lot of young golfers in the gym training like bodybuilders. Like with every other sport, golf has gone in the direction of strength. There aren't many short hitters coming through anymore. They all look like they could have either decided to play front - row or forward.'

The common name as I've discussed before, is hinging. Every elite athlete understands hinging, and what 'core strength' really means. Its not your fault, and no surprise at all that it all is a mystery to you soufle'. The pelvic extension/flexion thing is obviously just a dim at best, probably lost memory up there on the high chair, to the man who spent his whole career dodging blacks, 'ol' brokeback, chicken soufle'... I guess the wife understands?

The situation with surfing is nothing new, I watched all sports cling to the past, before realising what it takes to be athletic, that size and strength are a bonus, not hindrance.

wally's picture
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wally commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 4:39pm

Someone should tell Lionel Messi that he's no darned athlete, actually he's just a little bit pathetic.

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 6:12pm

wally I wouldn't underestimate Messi's core strength which is what uplift is essentially talking about. He can hold his ground against some sizeable central defenders. If you want an example of how professional footballers train look at the change in Raheem Sterling over the last 12 months.

uplift's picture
uplift's picture
uplift commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 6:41pm

http://speedendurance.com/2012/08/04/lionel-messi-40-yard-dash-and-olymp...

As can be seen wally, as athletic and strong as his glutes/quad/ham/lower back are (core), compared to the lofty NFL standard required of their elite athletes, Messi is actually slow, with less sustainable power. Much bigger, more athletic NFL players are faster, stronger, jump higher, better reflexes, more flexible, thus much more powerful and explosive... plus injury resistant.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 6:48pm

Oh please don't turn this into another bloody discussion about core strength. It's got nothing to do with the article!

stray-gator_2's picture
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stray-gator_2 commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 8:10pm

.....

I aim to give you something that you can keep for life. A bit like herpes. My techniques are not available in any book or course; what would scientists know? I have played with model trains for 40 plus years.

sir ambrose beachfucker's picture
sir ambrose beachfucker's picture
sir ambrose bea... commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 7:00pm

I have played and trained with U S athletes
name them shirtlift !

uplift's picture
uplift's picture
uplift commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 7:17pm

Oh please don't throw a little surfee, squawk up tanty thermless. Calm down, not worth losing your hair (singular) over. Turn the lights on, if the surfers, year after year begging people to throw money at them, were actually elite athletes, they would be much more watchable to those that they are wooing, who are used to paying to see elite athletes. Again, in the average viewers eyes, used to seeing elite athletes perform, watching scrawny little untrained kids regularly kick 'pros' butts, is a WTF, give me my money back situation. Maybe you love it, but the record proves not many do.

uplift's picture
uplift's picture
uplift commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 7:09pm

Stop Press!!! News flash!!!

'The Wonthaggi Lorikeets under 15's just absolutely flogged Geelong at home, having trounced Port Power in Adelaide last week. Fans are over the moon, and are swamping Geelong, The Power and the AFL, trying to scoop up the last remaining memberships!'

wally's picture
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wally commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 7:32pm

An athlete is someone who participates in an active sport. Therefore, an elite athlete would be someone who is an elite participant in an active sport.
Slater gets interviewed in the U.S. and gets asked (unjokingly) when he is going to get a proper job. They don't ask the same question of other pro sportspeople in the U.S. Slater says Australia is the only country he has visited where surfing is considered a mainstream sport activity. The ASP is calling them athletes to overcome the negative bias against surfing in most countries. That doesn't apply in Aus. In NSW, the Deputy Premier and leader of its most conservative mainstream party is a keen surfer. This is considered unremarkable. It doesn't really happen in other countries.

They are athletes. You might quibble they might not excel at track and field events. Is that relevant?
The ASP is a travelling show and the performers are athletes. And, as few can do it as well, what they do is really hard.
They are probably way up on most rock acts who can't read music and the singers don't know what key they prefer to sing in. Yet they are called musicians. And fair enough, they make music.

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 10:23am

Wally my beef is if you can't use a recognised english language word which is invented for this pursuit (doesn't exist in any European language) and get behind and be proud of it then it is all too limp for me. I have had a gut full of people twisting (re' Politicians especially) the language to suit some corporate purpose. They are surfers, might be athletes as well but first and foremost surfers. If they and their organisation can't be proud of that then it is a sad day indeed. As everybody on this website agrees we are never going to be mainstream beyond Oz and I for one never want it to be. Who does it really benefit beyond a handful of pros and the corporate hangers on? It is fun watching the contests but if they disappeared I for one won't loose any sleep. Would be sad in a way but I am still going in the water. As for you analogy I agree with it. I surf so I am a surfer, I also play in a band so I guess that makes me a musician.

wally's picture
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wally commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 9:57pm

The promotion of all professional sport enthusiastically adopts a lot of the old Barnum & Bailey.
Well portrayed in this David Mitchell skit about English soccer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MusyO7J2inM

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 10:33pm

Superb article Stu. Investigative journalism is certainly not dead; nor is "publish and be damned!" Well done.

the-roller's picture
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the-roller commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 5:37am

Hey fluffy, you are in the entertainment industry aren't you?

you of all folks should know better than most...

The entertainment business has always had problems with the numbers.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121018/01054720744/hollywood-accounti...

allatrip's picture
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allatrip commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 6:23am

To be honest who cares. For all the comments about it they want it to expand it why? I live in margaret river and I hate the idea of broadcasting the waves to millions of people. I hope they go broke there is way to many kooks in the water these days. To many drop in, hassle yet they can barely make the drop or pull off the last second, with their dumpster divers or what ever board the pros use. These days surfing seems not to be a lifestyle but a "cool" thing to do. Fuck the scene, The ones who froth on it and brag about been a surfer seem to be the biggest kooks. Go figure. My opinion fuck the profits surfing about soul, to all you guys promoting ideas to help them out. learn to get barreled or do a good turn and turn of the tv

kerry1's picture
kerry1's picture
kerry1 commented Friday, 16 May 2014 at 2:11am

Unfortunately thats life in surfing at famous breaks Allatrip. My shaper Mitchell Rae from Outer Island Surfboards has taught me to be mellow and enjoy the surfing trip(It is a lifestyle). We surfers who have been surfing for over 40 years except the crowds and problems that come with these crowds. If it is crowded seek another uncrowded break, or get out there and enjoy the waves you pickup and or set off for and Indo trip. I receive emails from the ASP every time a contest is on I log in and enjoy every minute of it. So stay cool mate. so the kooks can't surf they may be inexperienced and or learning. Were you not a beginner once? think about it. I have been surfing for 44 years and have surfed everything from 5ft to 15ft. I know my limitations and still go for it at 60 and still riding short boards and guns by Mitchell. Take care and be a bit more understanding or you will have this problem everytime you have a session. I don't work any more so weekends are off my list unless it is BIG. so it is easy for me to get a lot of uncrowded waves down the NSW South coast.

tony ty carson big island's picture
tony ty carson big island's picture
tony ty carson ... commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 7:10am

Thanks for the honest ,no holds barred article, look out for zooatsea, hope this article doesn't mysteriously disappear like the lewis samuels power rankings on the ASP website. Someone better make a copy.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 7:12am

Think it'll be alright here Tony.

Hey Stu, I clicked on the yootoob feed when Slater was in the water against De Souza and the numbers seemed to have been switched off.

Did you notice that?

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 8:32am

I noticed it and for all heats too. After reading this article I went back to the webcast to look at how many were tuning in. I used your screen grab as a reference point but it appeared that viewer numbers were no longer being displayed.

Maybe the ASP saw this article?

Ignorance is Zen

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 10:17am

Odd one. I clicked over to YouTube about halfway through that heat and everything appeared as it ought to. That said, I've half expexcted something to change and will be keeping a close eye on things from here on.

the-roller's picture
the-roller's picture
the-roller commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 7:21am

Brew bunnie,

"Hatred is blind and anger deaf: the one who pours himself a cup of vengeance is likely to drink a bitter draught."

blasphemy-rottmouth's picture
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blasphemy-rottmouth commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 2:41pm

The Numbers for Slater's Heat were posted on Twitter.

That newfangled media.

It was... less than stellar.

blasphemy-rottmouth's picture
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blasphemy-rottmouth commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 2:46pm

Sorry. Facts. 30k. Almost on the dot.

Someone should kiss Nick Carroll for me.

https://twitter.com/surfmediatruths/status/465941073735327745

blasphemy-rottmouth's picture
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blasphemy-rottmouth commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 2:52pm

You all should thank Nicky. He was the prophet. He was the one. NEO.

Of course people much smarter and higher up in the public corps knew more than brother Nicky. But the preachers, all the clergy of the Pro Surfing Religion blathered onward. Narry a word said by anyone. Stu finally stood up. But it wasn't like he believed me all along. Teh heh.

http://surfinglife.com.au/news/sl-news/9272-don%E2%80%99t-blame-the-asp-...

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 3:06pm

Well at the least you can say I was listening, but then you also said a great many things about Swellnet that were patently untrue so you were hardly a beacon of truth. As it happens, we long suspected the numbers were very low as Swellnet has webcast a few 'QS events in the past. We didn't need anyone else to shine a light, we just read the screen in front of us. 

Of course the QS ain't the WT but it was enough to raise the antennae. Also, till this year there's been no means to state definitively what the WT numbers were. Anything written before this year would've been inconclusive and probably said more about the grievances of the author than the reach of pro surfing.

tony ty carson big island's picture
tony ty carson big island's picture
tony ty carson ... commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 3:39pm

Just happened on Swellnet while researching zooatsea. Not sure who Stu is yet, but finally, a in depth unbiased article on the new asp and zooatsea, with actual viewing figures. I'm impressed to put it mildly. I'll bet there is not another website out there with actual figures. I think I might become a swellnet follower if we can get unbiased articles like this. Maybe Stu can tell us what the acronym zoosee actually stands for also. Thanks for taking the drop and giving us the facts.

stray-gator_2's picture
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stray-gator_2 commented Thursday, 15 May 2014 at 12:14am

Just who the hell ARE you, Stu?

I aim to give you something that you can keep for life. A bit like herpes. My techniques are not available in any book or course; what would scientists know? I have played with model trains for 40 plus years.

tony ty carson big island's picture
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tony ty carson ... commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 4:09pm

One of zooseas- Paul Speaker's- biggest pitches was that almost no one had ever played pro football, but football is probably the largest viewing audience out there. While almost no one has ever played "pro" ball, almost every male on the planet had held a football at some time, thrown it, at least played a game of football, tag or flag, and had a pretty good feeling what it felt like to run down a field, whether at a field or park or just in the backyard with his kids, he can relate to the game. But surfing, how many people have actually even held a surfboard or even seen one up close, unless you live near the coast, probably not very many, let alone have they even been in the real ocean or even attempted catching a wave. I just don't think the average armchair sports fan will ever be able to relate to what he's seeing on the screen, and if you can't relate, it will probably not hold your attention. "The surf industry, is not surfing, my brief forays into the dark, sickly heart of the matter have reminded me of that. The "cool" kids are looking towards the past, trying to re discover surfing's age of innocence." Lewis Samuels-------There is good news though, if you look hard enough, it can still be found.

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wally commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 6:48pm

The great thing is that no one need be concerned that the ASP is filling up their surf spot or adversely affecting any aspect of their surfing experience.
The more we realise the minuscule viewing numbers, the more we realise that the ASP is no threat to anyone. Just some free entertainment for some hardcore fans. Who could complain about that?

brutus's picture
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brutus commented Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 11:16pm

we all should become Hipsters....no need for Progressive surfing......

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the-roller commented Thursday, 15 May 2014 at 4:24am

yea fluffy, not counting all of the other sources of viewing comps, look at those numbers just for youtube alone

no one is watching these ASP comps.

just like no one is commenting on them either.

Heh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNRpYBVGPmQ

tony ty carson big island's picture
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tony ty carson ... commented Thursday, 15 May 2014 at 5:07am

Hey does anyone know what the acronym "zosea" stands for?

the-roller's picture
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the-roller commented Thursday, 15 May 2014 at 10:11am

no worries, fluffy, herbed out surfing is not going anywhere.... by the numbers, comp or not, there is room for both types of surfing. neither is going away.

one happens to get different kinds of hit's than the other.

http://vimeo.com/45801789

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memlasurf commented Thursday, 15 May 2014 at 2:18pm

Geez roller that was the wimpiest video I have ever seen.

blasphemy-rottmouth's picture
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blasphemy-rottmouth commented Thursday, 15 May 2014 at 3:55pm

I think Stu did a pretty good job of covering "viewer numbers" of clips long since past and concurrent viewers.

But I guess I read. And comprehend.

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kerry1 commented Friday, 16 May 2014 at 1:54am

I am sent ASP emails when anything is on and I log in and watched the whole damn lot till I fall asleep. It doesn't matter which pro or wildcard is competing I watch them closely their techniques and how good some of them are. Watching is learning and putting or adding it to your own technique it it works for you. there is no question of who is watching it is always interesting.

the-roller's picture
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the-roller commented Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 9:18am

but but but, memlasurf, that brand of herbed surfing is what all the fluffy comp haters love!

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the-roller commented Friday, 16 May 2014 at 4:06am

Lets look at what could make up ALL OF the ASP numbers...

Mens WCT. Check. Mens WQS. Check. Women's WCT. Check, Women's WQS, Check. Grom events everywhere..... Big Wave Tour. Check.

Oh, and you may need to translate this....

http://www.vert-mag.com/noticia/competicao/3574/confirmado-o-big-wave-wo...

Numbers. Numbers.... We demand fluffy eared numb nuts clamoring for numbers.

the-roller's picture
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the-roller commented Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 9:21am

Numbers. People get them wrong all the time. Hells bells, the nanocephalous nudzheds of numbers are Federal Governments worldwide, as they are constantly revising the numbers they just released the month before!

It's not about the numbers, it's the ideas and execution that counts.

So, is this for real? Did the ASP grab control of the Big Wave sponge tour?....

http://leboogie.com/2014/big-wave-tour-set-to-hit-bodyboarding/

If so, who's next? Body Surf Tour? Matt riders?... Seems the ASP business plan is to be the Amazon of comp surfing.

Yew!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e6-djfp3BM

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 7:27am

Roller, check the date. It was an April Fools gag.

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the-roller commented Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 1:36am

Stu, Bob Kelly Slater's expiring contract with ZQK was also issued on Ap 1st, which many took as a joke.

ASP World Tour (consisting of ASP World Title Race, ASP PRIME and ASP Star events);
ASP Women’s World Tour (consisting of ASP World Title Race and ASP Star events);
ASP World Longboard Tour
ASP Women’s World Longboard Tour and
ASP World Junior Tour.
ASP World Big Wave Tour.

would you be surprised to read, bodies, stand up boaters, mats. and cooler lids were the next fit to the ideas. and or numbers?

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daviddubois commented Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 2:06pm

Great Article Stu!!!

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stunet commented Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 7:11pm

Cheers Dave,

Hope all's well with junior #2. See you next weekend.

tony ty carson big island's picture
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tony ty carson ... commented Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 6:20pm

Come on, zoosea takes over the asp, and nobody out there knows what the letters in zosea stands for?

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 7:15pm

Do they stand for anything Tony? Maybe it's just an imagined word like Samsung or GoPro?

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 8:45pm

Hey stu, sorry to drop in off topic but I think maybe the chronology of the posts is getting freaky in the " Lack of balance in shark cull " topic. Maybe it's just my computer.

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southey commented Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 12:56am

no your right blowin .... i gave up looking for that " new " post a day and a half ago .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

tony ty carson big island's picture
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tony ty carson ... commented Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 7:54pm

No, I'm pretty sure I saw the meaning about a year or so ago, just can't remember where. Is zosea to secretive they won't give you a interview and won't even say what zosea stands for? Either way, with Terry Harder and Paul Speaker heading up this thing, makes you wonder who in their right mind would come up with a name like zosea, (zoo at sea)? Maybe it was a Freudian slip on their part, maybe its what they would like to really see, a zooatsea of mindless surfers following their new asp.

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mick-free commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 5:09pm

Wow blasphemy-rottmouth, I thought Kelly and his Mafia shut you down. Good to have you back.

Just tried to catch up on the Rio event by watching it on the utube. Either you watch the whole heat or a 2min grab of single wave highlights with no idea who wins. Two distinct targeted markets there for the ASP.

Interesting they have have also disabled the comments sections on some of the videos posted. Case in point

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu8cQHgTpZU

Strange disabling comments - they are a sensitive bunch those Seppos.

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

the-roller's picture
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the-roller commented Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 6:20am

mick-free, you should have seen the comment section when the event was running live on Youtube. ASP kicked me out and banned me for good just for mentioning that B. Rottmouth would make a great addition to that ASP wooden table of touts.

mick-free's picture
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mick-free commented Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 7:23am

hahaha. Wonder if BRottmouth is also banned?

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

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mick-free commented Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 5:31pm

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 6:51pm

I hope what Nick Carrol says is true that participation rates are way down. That's great news.

Thanks for posting that Mick.

Ignorance is Zen

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simba commented Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 7:21pm

So if Nicks figures are right and i dont doubt it ,Zosea and all the surf brands would have the same info, but on those figures you wouldnt think surfing would or could survive so why throw more money at it?

simba

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 7:26pm

I'd say it's to appeal to the 'non-core' audience, which is the larger part of each surf company's market.

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stunet commented Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 8:04pm

To elaborate: Non-core consumers were the larger part of each company's market but surf fashion has, ironically enough, started going out of fashion, hence there's been a corresponding dip in the financial fortunes of said company's. That's why they could no longer support the World Tour.

As for still throwing money at it now: I think it's worth watching how Hurley behave in the marketplace. For mine, they've been the company most prepared to buck the status quo.

mick-free's picture
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mick-free commented Wednesday, 21 May 2014 at 8:36am

Stu, word on the street is that Hurley are underperforming in US and Nike are taking over the retail sales by selling the products in their Nike branded stores. Source is good, and everybody involved thinks it is a bad move.

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

tony ty carson big island's picture
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tony ty carson ... commented Sunday, 25 May 2014 at 7:47am

Stu, ya hurley is owned by nike- the man- the establishment-the mainstream- where joggers buy their sweat pants jock straps and running shoes, how core is that? Can't see hurley (nike) appealing to any real surfer. Nike don't surf. I wouldn't be caught dead in anything from nike.

uplift's picture
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uplift commented Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 9:16pm

http://surfinglife.com.au/news/sl-news/11434-lies-damned-lies-and-statis...

Hey freeride, hows that shot. I actually had a view of that from my lounge up there. Its amasing how good and empty that spot can be.

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 10:45pm

Firstly hats off to Stu for such an academic breakdown of the stats, A+.
Secondly, if ASP felching fans think their comps have no impact on numbers in the surf in areas they hold their circus events in, then they are more deluded than Uplift and his rantings about athletes and should join him in weight training in lycra in front of the mirror posing and grunting and perving at other mens cores.
Thirdly, well done Swellnet for having the balls to let your threads go for gold. When we were fighting the ASP from wrecking the ''Last Paradise'' in NZ, all NZ surf websites were actively censoring any one who had anything contrary to supporting the hoax that the ASP is. NZ surf websites are as weak as a mid strength shandy. Again, good on ya me dingo digger cobbas, you do believe in good old ridgy didge debate and a fair crack of the whip.
Fourthly, Tony Abbot blows goats.
Fifthly, Keep it up Swellnet, your holding the torch and leading the way.

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uplift commented Wednesday, 21 May 2014 at 3:18pm

Sixthly, inzless, you pin head. One minute you are jibbering and sucking up dribbling about stu's awesome stats and report, which prove no one gives a shit about ASP pipsqueaks antics, next thing you are blathering and dribbling and slobberiing about how so many people are watching ASP pipsqueaks antics, that they are over running your surf spots, and are picking on you and not letting you surf.

Seventhly,

a: forget the torch, turn the fuck'n lights on.

b: man the fuck up in the surf, and get your tiny, feeble carcass to the gym.

Eightthly, lose the we, and stop trying to suck up back up. Get out from between your side kicks legs and stand on your own two scrawny feet (Seventhly, b)

inzider's picture
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inzider commented Wednesday, 21 May 2014 at 5:13pm

Dearest uplift, your above reply merely reinforces (means strengthen) to me me what I already understand about you. You love to give shit but cant take it back, weak. If only you could train in the gym for a stronger personality.

You are uneducated and as thick as pig shit.

Since I actually feel sorry for you please let me deconstruct (means break it down) the facts so you may possibly understand a few very simple concepts.

Nowhere in my above post did I say webcast viewers were affecting numbers on my coast you semi retarded muttonhead.

I am not offended by your remarks about my body shape, it amazes me you even know what I look like through a few sentences on the interweb.

If it makes you feel like a big man by having big muscles you are truly someone I think has a vague grasp reality.

Gyms as far as I am concerned have nothing to do with real life. How long could you pump scaffold gear for on a highrise uplift, I would wager i would school your bulky arse. How long could you run up a mountain, I bet I would fool your arse.

I would much rather have strength of character in this life as that will take you further than standing in front of a mirror squatting holding onto heavy things.

Next time you look in the mirror (which I am assuming is every minute or so) please headbut it and lacerate (that means big cut) your jugular with a falling piece of glass you two bit oxygen(that means the air stuff we breath) thief.

top-to-bottom-bells's picture
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top-to-bottom-bells commented Wednesday, 21 May 2014 at 6:30pm

Well done gents. At the risk of making myself a target I'd like to say how much I enjoyed that call and response.

Carry on.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Thursday, 22 May 2014 at 5:35am

C'mon guys, keep your personal attacks outside of article comments. I've deleted all of the irrelevant comments uploaded last night.

the-roller's picture
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the-roller commented Thursday, 22 May 2014 at 6:31am

Numbers. We like numbers.

And graphs.

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/aspworldtour.com

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 22 May 2014 at 7:39am

Speaking from personal experience, Alexa data is misleading and unreliable.

wellymon's picture
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wellymon commented Thursday, 22 May 2014 at 7:40am

Haha Roller
Viewers from Alaska...?
Also most are viewing from work !

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

radiationrules's picture
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radiationrules commented Tuesday, 27 May 2014 at 10:19am

Hi Stu,

I may have missed an update to this very excellent article?

Wondering have you crunched the ASP YouTube numbers - Aust leg vs. Brazil leg as background to Tahitian leg - which may have epic waves, vastly more watchable than local interest (aus), and shorebreak ho hum(brazil)?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 27 May 2014 at 10:25am

Nah, haven't missed anything RR. Rathering than comparing each comp I'm looking to weigh a few factors - time zones, good waves, etc - in the next article. Therefore waiting for those aspects to come to pass.

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 commented Thursday, 7 Aug 2014 at 12:27pm

stunet wrote:

Nah, haven't missed anything RR. Rathering than comparing each comp I'm looking to weigh a few factors - time zones, good waves, etc - in the next article. Therefore waiting for those aspects to come to pass.

Update soon?

Surely the Jbay concurrent viewers for the occy v curren clash were up there?

And, the quarters through to the final for that matter?

????

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

mick-free's picture
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mick-free commented Wednesday, 28 May 2014 at 3:39pm

Today was pumping at Resturants. I wonder what the viewing figures are for the womens????

Today and tomorrow look like the best days for the enitre waiting period including the mens. Frankly it looks abysmal with that blocking high

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 28 May 2014 at 5:29pm

looked to be just under nine thousand watching current world champ Carissa Moore at four to six foot restaurants.

mick-free's picture
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mick-free commented Friday, 30 May 2014 at 12:09pm

Surfline is reporting Millions of viewers in total. No breakdown though

By the Numbers (Gold Coast, Margaret River, Bells Beach and Rio de Janeiro):

• Over 1 million uniques to the event during window
• 1 million hours watched per event, on average, for first three events
• Fans watching for over 30min on average and returning to watch multiple days of the event
• 300K additional watch hours via ASP video on demand (VoD)
• 40% of audience watching on mobile and tablets
• Additional broadcast reach of over 10 million households across the globe

http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/asp-update_109486/?slintcid=SL-SOCIAL&...

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

mick-free's picture
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mick-free commented Friday, 30 May 2014 at 12:15pm

BTW - Love to know what the medium was for

"Additional broadcast reach of over 10 million households across the globe"

Fuel and cable in US??

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 30 May 2014 at 1:15pm

Hey Mick, those facts are a bit vague, specifically the descriptor 'uniques'. Unique Visitors is indeed a formal metric for online traffic, as is Absolute Unique Visitors. What have they used? Because I can log onto a site one day, then log on the next day and have it counted as two unique visits. Of course when a comp is running I log on every day, so that's a lot of 'unique visits' for just one person.

Let’s look at two other points they raised:

• 1 million hours watched per event, on average, for first three events
• Fans watching for over 30min on average and returning to watch multiple days of the event

Let’s also assume that each event (including Mens/Womens) has a total of 6 competition days (4 for the Mens, 2 for the Womens), with each competition day consisting of 8 broadcast hours.

Here are some rough back-of-the-envelope calculations:

1 million “hours watched per event” divided by 6 days per event = 166,000 “hours watched per competition day”.

Therefore 166,000 “hours watched per competition day” divided by 8 broadcast hours per competition day = 20,750 “hours watched per broadcast hour”.

And if “fans watched for over 30min on average” (let’s just call it 30 mins), then this means we have to double the 20,750 “hours watched per broadcast hour”.

2 x 20,750 = 41,500 Fans. 

Which fits in very closely with our estimate of 40,417 concurrent viewers who watched the Bells Beach Final.

brutus's picture
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brutus commented Thursday, 7 Aug 2014 at 12:38pm

OK Stu...when is the next installment??

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Thursday, 7 Aug 2014 at 6:57pm

I'm on holidays at the moment MC. It was a last minute affair so that loose end didn't get tied up. Next week hopefully.

Bob's 2 Bob's's picture
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Bob's 2 Bob's commented Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 at 2:22am

What happened to the J'Bay numbers Stu?

Freeload69

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 at 12:35pm

Ahhh...I was waiting for people to get back to me, help verify a few points, but that that didn't happen. Then I took some last minute time off so the article got put on the back burner. I think we'll have to wait for the other side of Chopes to release this one. 

As for the J'Bay numbers, despite the quality of surf it wasn't the highest rating comp of the year.

brutus's picture
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brutus commented Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 at 1:18pm

yeah I was watching the J-Bay comp on youtube......very low numbers as bad time for the USA market to watch....

was interesting to see that when Kelly surfed his last heat, numbers went from just over 19K viewers to 23K....and then went back to about 21 K.......and about 25K watched OC and TC....before the 1/4's was a bad call as they did not advertise when ,just put it on.....
I know a lot of people who just assumed it would be between the semis and the final......

It looks like live surfing is a no brainer......just does not work !

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 at 7:59am

Paul Speaker was interviewd by Forbes recently (this video went up yesterday, thanks Roller for the link).. and there are some very interesting quotes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwXXEATQW_Y

4:38: "People in the middle of Chicago are wearing Quiksilver, Billabong or Rip Curl attire, and saying 'I'm a proud surfer even though I stand up paddle in Lake Michigan'."

Not quite the same surfing audience I'm familiar with.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 at 8:34am

Wow are those rubbery figures or what,sorta dosent ring true to me,interesting interview though.

simba

brutus's picture
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brutus commented Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 at 8:45am

its well known that 80% of surf wear in the USA , is sold to the inland people who want to associate with youth brands.....

the scary part is if they ever find out that the surf brands are now not youth brands...and as we all know Gen Y is not a consumer of traditional surf wear/brands.....

if your brand loses the perception of being a youth brand.....sales will collapse....and ???

I think that this is the market the ASP are trying to sell their current format to the inlanders.....but live surfing does not work as its not entertaining to have 3-4 mins surfing in 30 mins.....surfers struggle to watch it,if you are on Fuel TV you record all the content and then fast forward...

I think we are now in one of the most interesting periods in surfing History....the big brands have lost their power and customers ( Gen Y) ...

the ASP needs and will have to have a severe makeover to continue to produce a valid world Champ every year...which is and should be the ASP's primary objective....but lets see the numbers Stu...

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 at 8:56am

I have no idea why people wear these brands but the extent to which they have alienated the community whose image they trade on is pretty clear. Anyone seen a surfer in a Quiksilver t shirt lately?

trippergreenfeet's picture
trippergreenfeet's picture
trippergreenfeet commented Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 at 9:04am

blindboy wrote: Anyone seen a surfer in a Quiksilver t shirt lately?

Ahhh, that would be me:-) not because I bought it though, was a freebie thrown my way, makes for a good shirt while swinging a chainsaw...so now Quicky have become lumberjack ware, haha.

I'd rather be poor and produce nothing than be an arsehole and conquer the world - Alby Falzon

What time do you like the best? The time on the kitchen wall, or the time it takes to smoke a cigarette? - Sidewinder

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 at 9:47am

trippergreenfeet wrote:
blindboy wrote: Anyone seen a surfer in a Quiksilver t shirt lately?

Ahhh, that would be me:-) not because I bought it though, was a freebie thrown my way, makes for a good shirt while swinging a chainsaw...so now Quicky have become lumberjack ware, haha.

I've also got a few..but there also hand me downs from a mate who was a manager of a surf shop for years, i use to get all his surf brand clothing as he was only allowed to wear the current range.

the-roller's picture
the-roller's picture
the-roller commented Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 at 9:49am

brand names are for the masses.....

out of date leftovers are for those who actually rip waves.

Yew!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz_t171WNWw

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Friday, 19 Sep 2014 at 10:38am

The new site is frustrating. There is no easy way anymore to look at all the scores & placings for each surfer at each event. I'd like to look at a few surfers I have in bets to see where they stand with throwaways, including the Medina Slater battle going down, but the only way to do that is to go into each events history and search through every heat.
Pretty annoying. What if I wanted to put money on it depending on the throwaway situation.