by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt San Diego, CA (August 6, 2018) - I need coffee in the morning, and my routine has me sipping the first cup no later than 5am. With my mind still foggy, I will turn on the television and choose between the recorded sports and news programs that began earlier in the morning.
But with the Sailing World Championships operating nine hours ahead, and with all ten Olympic events gathered to determine world titles and qualifying slots for the Tokyo 2020 Games, today I went to World Sailing’s YouTube channel to watch the live broadcast from Aarhus, Denmark.
Racing began August 2, and I had only seen short segments while navigating the daily workload at Scuttlebutt HQ. I found the production to be quite good, and since I've got the big screen smart TV, I thought I'd wake up to some of the racing.
While I was ready, the wind was not. With the event under postponement, I watched the archived shows from yesterday. The wind was full bananas, blowing off the land and shuffling the ranking with regularity. But it was a good show, with smart commentary over a broadcast that toggled between multiple course cameras and SAP tracking.
It was no surprise to me when Global TV sports producer and distributor Sunset+Vine confirmed today the Sailing World Championships is the most successful to date in terms of potential audience reach. This year’s event has already eclipsed previous Sailing World Championship events in Perth (2011) and Santander (2014) in respect to the number of broadcasters confirmed to take live or highlights programming from the event.
To date, fifty-nine (59) broadcasters are taking a mix of live or highlights programming from the championship. This compares to four (4) in Perth 2011 and twenty-four (24) in Santander 2014. Potential reach is expected to dwarf the previous record of 182 million households and almost 8 million subscribers when this is assessed post-event. Add me to the household count.
In addition to DR, the Danish host broadcaster, the line-up of international broadcasters on board include, amongst others, Fox Sports (Asia, Australia and Latin America), ESPN USA, BBC (Red Button), CNBC (Emea, Apac and Latin America), OSN, TVE Spain and SuperSport.
But most importantly, sailing fans are able to watch online, free of charge via World Sailing’s YouTube channel/Facebook pages and the Olympic Channel on the Medal Race days.
Sunset+Vine has a team of 60 in Aarhus producing and distributing eight days of live Internet coverage of the qualification series (August 2-8) plus four days of live television coverage of each of the 10 Medal Races (August 9-12). Highlight programs are getting created too.
I will be back tomorrow, coffee in hand. Hopefully the wind will be there too.