I Like to Watch. How Do You Watch Sailing on TV? 2

We all know that the media landscape is changing. Yesterday, I sat in the office and watched the start of the last leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Stockholm. While the BBC served up Wimbledon to the masses, I was watching a different channel – a channel which has one viewer – me.

This week in the UK, Vodafone announced that it would be launching ‘femto cell’ technology into the consumer market. These devices are like having a 3G base station in your house speeding up the data transfer and allowing new services to be delivered. The future is very much a 3 screen world – the tv, the computer and the phone, with convergence allowing for all 3 to interchange.

When the relevant stakeholders work out the business models, the winner will be fans of sports that have until now been considered too niche for mainstream broadcasters. Rather than miss the highlights buried at 7am on a Sunday morning in the TV schedule, the consumer can choose where, when and on what screen they want to watch.

But at the end of the day, someone has to shoot it and sailing is not a cheap product to make. This is not a sport where a couple of fixed cameras will do the job. Filming sailing requires helicopters and high speed ribs. Add the complication of water, which is not a camera’s best friend and the production costs compared to other sports are quite high.

For those who do it well, the end result is absolutely compelling television. Once the complicated questions of business models and distribution are sorted out, there is great product for those who want to watch.

Here’s an example from Sunset + Vine.

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