Still recovering from one of the most fun weeks of my life. 70+ hours of live curling programming. About 200,000 live views online. Meeting the one and only Tuck. How do I sum up the week? "Holy Buckets!"
There are so many people to thank. First and foremost, the USCA, who had other options for webstreaming but picked us. Brian and I put in a lot of work to try to live up to what we felt would be their expectations. Gotta thank Tuck, Brady Clark, John Benton, Peter Stolt, Christine Jensen, Sandra McMakin, Emilia Joucys and all of the guest commentators. Gotta thank the athletes for wearing the mics. Gotta thank the icemen who put up with our slower than expected set-up.
We learned a lot from our experience. First, there is a US curling audience. We averaged about 20,000 views a day, most of them unique. The compliments we've received for being a part of this were both unexpected and overwhelming. We just love curling and it was cool to be able to showcase the game we love.
Second, we have room to improve. We actually have a way to do instant replay :) We just hadn't tested it yet. We can add more cameras. We just need a place to put them. How about a pre or post game show? All of this is possible.
Finally, we know we need help to grow. We're thinking about a kickstarter campaign. The concept we are tossing around is a portable broadcast kit, so that what we do can be shared with others for individual events. Let us know what you think.
Again thanks for watching and sharing in the fun.
TESN is partnering with the United States Curling Association and the host committee at Broomstones Curling Club to bring the 2012 United States Mixed Doubles Curling Championships to the internet. We plan to broadcast up to ten draws including the playoff rounds from December 8th to December 11th right here on TESN.
Our broadcasts will feature play by play commentary by some of the competitors, which should bring a unique perspective to the broadcasts. How much strategy on this relatively new format will these competitors relay when they have to play a game the next draw or game? Will they be able to identify patterns in the broadcasts they can use against a specific opponent? I'm excited as a fan to see how the format is played at the top level and hear how top level players think about the format as I've only ever played it at the club level.
So please join us next week for the event. It should be a lot of fun.
Last and certainly not least, I'd like to all of the volunteers that are taking time out of their lives so that this broadcast is possible. Without them, this doesn't work. I'd personally like to thank Sam Williams and Randy Boback from Broomstones. If you are in the area and see them next week, buy them a cold one. They deserve it.
Curling season has begun! Four of my favorite words. It you are following this blog, more than likely you are a curling fanatic. You've read most of the books out there on the game. You play a few nights a week if not more. You probably think about the game more than is natural. It's OK. You have a curling home here at TESN.
This month, we're hoping to bring you all the curling content you could ever want. We have brought on our 2nd affiliate, TESN-Chicago. In the next week, we hope to have announcements for even more content. "Curling Night in America" will be available to you each Wednesday Night through the end of the season. Sometimes with multiple games per night from multiple locations across the country. Occasionally, we'll hit the road for bonspiels and events within our reach. We're up and running and we're here to stay.
If you have told your curling friends about TESN, Thank You! If you haven't, what's holding you back ;)
If you like what you see, please remember to support us through shopping at one of the links or banners on the site. It'll support the efforts of the local broadcasters we're bringing on board and help us invest in the technology to make this site even better.
Thanks so much for your support.
The concept for The 12th End Sports Network (T.E.S.N. for short) has been coming for a little while now. From our efforts on justin.tv last season and our previous work with the USCA on the Men's Eastern Regional Qualifier, it became clear to us that a venture like Curltv.com was ahead of its time. At its beginning, I was one of CurlTV's biggest supporters. In the end I was one of its greatest critics. Unfortunately, CurlTV's loss to the curling community is our gain. I know curling broadcasts can be done well and inexpensively in a way that is like a mix of CurlTV and Youtube. Welcome to the 12th End Sports Network!
Why I think this will succeed where other efforts have not:
1) T.E.S.N. will have very little overhead. One of the inherent problems with any broadcasting effort is the travel costs associated with going to events and setting up and manning expensive equipment. We're eliminating that cost by adding local affiliates who are responsible for their own programming. Our network will do our best to provide a consistent look and feel to games, without excessive costs to the broadcasters.
2) Social media has changed the game! The proliferation of curling related twitter and facebook accounts should give T.E.S.N. consistent marketing to those interested in the game. Our broadcasts got 20,000 views last season through entirely "word of social media". I expect this page to explode well beyond that this season.
3) T.E.S.N. is not limited by having to feature only top level curling content. Weekend spiels and league play can be as satisfying for the curling viewer as a National Championship competition and long as we make the broadcast compelling. We will look to broadcast what events we can in order to provide new and interesting content. That may involve cashspiels, funspiels, league games, or Regional Tours, or National Championships. The more affiliates on T.E.S.N., the more curling we'll be able to offer.
4) T.E.S.N has different revenue model. We are not going to ask you the viewer to subscribe to view our games. Our video will be free. For this site to work, we're going to need your support in other ways. Spread the word, buy from our sponsors, click on our links and make purchases to support the network. When you do that, you not only help us, but you help the local Affiliates, who are curling clubs or teams looking for support of their own.
So, welcome to the new age of webcasted curling, T.E.S.N.! Please give us ideas to help us make the site more enjoyable. There isn't another community that we would count on more than the curling community as we get this thing in motion.
We're excited for the season to get started. We hope you are too. Good curling!