An interesting exchange of views took place on the WDSF facebook page earlier today (here). The fact that the live webcast of the PD World Standard final came to a rather abrupt - and, that yes, most untimely - stop at 1 a.m. did not go unnoticed. Just how many viewers enjoyed the stream at that hour only the Bassano organisers know for sure. But we can safely assume that their number was in the multiple thousands. Too many, in fact.In any case, after the system came crashing down and the screen had turned black for everybody, quite a few inquiries - some polite, some not - were registered on this end too. Here is our opinion on the matter ...
It's simple: how much would you be willing to spend on watching a pay-per-view stream of unquestionable quality?
The Bassano organisers dished out a considerable amount of €€€€€ (probably in the 5-digit range) for production, server capacities and bandwidth. Return on investment: complaints and more complaints. The organisers' initial plan was to charge 2.50 € for a two-day subscription, but in the end they decided to offer the webcast (of 20+ hours) for free. That's 0 €!
Viewer numbers exploded, the quality of the stream deteriorated, and the organisers as well as viewers are left with a stale taste in their mouth.
Bottom line: how many € (or $) would you be willing to invest in having quality streams guaranteed every time? Answer here!
Most other organisations refrain from making anything in terms of video available at no charge. Glimpses at the action only serve to entice the public to buy into subscription schemes or - alternatively - to purchase the DVD. The rates you most likely know. Food for thought!