Tuesday, August 12, 2014

WUCC Coverage

Skyd Magazine provided exclusive broadcast coverage of the 2014 World Ultimate Club Championships from Lecco, Italy. Skyd's final schedule covered 22 games across all five divisions.

In all, Skyd's broadcast covered just 3.25% (22 streams / 676 total games) of WUCC games played. Put another way: 96.75% of WUCC games were not streamed.

The above chart shows the percentage of each division's streamed games compared to the total number of game each division played. The 7 Women's division games led by percentage (5.3%) while Open's games topped in quantity. The lone Women's Masters game (which was added late to the schedule) represented slightly more coverage by percentage than the 3 Mixed games. Masters was the least covered by percentage with 1 game.

This is not a knock against Skyd. How lucky are we to connect into this mountain village to remotely watch ultimate games?!

If you were fortunate enough to spend time with any of the Skyd streams, you know the commentators, Bryan Jones & Liam Rosen, were well-prepared and called every game professionally. Check out Skyd's archive. Thanks also to the additional crew who manned the cameras, set up audio, cued replays, posted on-screen notifications regarding calls and coordinated streaming logistics.

The World Flying Disc Federation's World Ultimate Club Championships is a huge event – 161 teams [Open (48); Women (32); Mixed (48); Masters (24); Women's Masters (9)] –  across 5 divisions with a total of 676 games. Coverage of such an Olympic-sized sporting event is a massive undertaking. MASSIVE!

This international WUCC event was a major opportunity to showcase the sport of ultimate with the top ultimate teams and elite ultimate athletes in the world. Beyond Skyd's detailed newsletters, UltiPhoto's wonderful stills, Ultiworld's extensive recaps, and Tino Tran's photos, there was a void of game highlights. [Read: video content.]

This lack of overall video reporting is an issue for Ultimate if it ever wants to become a household sport. I want moving pictures of game clips at my fingertips - to watch and to share. And, to re-watch and to re-share.

One could argue that any one division should be covered more. Really, let's take a step back. Ultimate - as a sport - has a general coverage gap. I am not advocating that every ultimate game everywhere needs to be fully broadcast. Just a daily recap with game clips seems like an attainable standard for elite tournaments. Without any daily video(s) feels like a missed opportunity.

It was just last year when the ultimate community pooled its resources together to fund the broadcasting of 100% of ultimate matches at the World Games. Tournament hosts should prepare their event accordingly knowing there is a viewership market and viewer demand.

Bottom line is when an athletic showcase - like a WUCC, or any Triple Crown Tour event - is scheduled, then the proper resources must be dedicated to video capture our sport. Ultimate deserves it. The players deserve it. And, the fans deserve it.

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