Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Best footage yet - is it time to go pay-per-view?

Congratulations to Carleton in the open and Santa Barbara in the womens. Maybe next year I'll get to see the tournament if it's still in Columbus, but I'll have to say all the "new age" media coverage made the tournament for me. If I had one of those smart phones, I could have caught more of the twitter action on Saturday.

Before letting go of the event, I would like to give credit to the UltiVillage summary videos. I watched most of the videos and thought both the video taping and commentary were top notch. Very simple, very informed, good viewing angles, and they kept me interested. I'm not the DVD type to watch an event after the fact, but during the unfolding of an event I really appreciated the coverage.

I couldn't get a good feed for either of the two finals. For the snippets I got, the commentary sound quality was too quiet (post production vs. live production) and I missed having a graphical score being shown since my connection was popping in and out. The angle, however, was perfect for seeing what was happening on the field, and is probably my favourite view of an Ultimate game.

So, I think it's almost time for subscription based viewing of these events. I wonder if the market is there, and how much it would cost to broadcast the event vs. the number of subscribers? I'll put a post up on Thursday asking that question, and maybe the following week asking what price you would pay for such a service.

The problem, I'm sure, is the cost of equipment and people needed to make a high-quality stream. Personally, I have very little experience in this domain, and I couldn't even estimate what the costs would be for the cameras. Another issue is would live subscrtiptions (pay-per-view) significantly impact profit from DVD sales as I would guess the DVDs are a little cheaper to produce in high-quality and would therefore have a larger profit margin (guess).

I still think the DVDs should go the way of Texas Hold'em footage. Multi-camera footage with two versions of commentating (live and after the fact). It's a lot of work, but the post DVD tournament cover is all about stories - the best being documentary form like NFL films and boxing documentaries.