No Live Coverage of the USDGC. It’s OK.

Alright, I want to start off by saying I am a huge fan of LIVE disc golf coverage. SmashboxxTV, SpinTV and everyone else involved do a great job. I can handle cell coverage issues, lost audio and what not. I know that the coverage of the sport is only getting better and the guys behind the scenes are making it happen. With that, let’s jump into the debate about the 2016 USDGC.

Seriously, it’s not that big of a deal. Like I said, I’m all about live coverage, but I can handle not having it this year, regardless of the circumstances or why.  Would I like to see Smashboxx out there killing it for us? Of course, but if the powers that be determined that’s not an option, so be it. No complaints here. Here’s why.

Someone will always be unhappy. You can’t please everyone. We all know this, in fact everyone should understand this by now. Remember last year when they didn’t do a post production video of the final round and everyone lost their minds?  How many of you who missed the final round live coverage went back and watched it in its entirety? I bet it wasn’t many. Personally, I try to watch as much live coverage as I can, but I am huge fan of post production video. The quality is better and you get commentary and insights added in. Post Production video is more popular among the masses. It’s more convenient. How many people are at home watching a live feed on Saturday? I’m not, I’m out playing disc golf myself. Besides, too many people, have too many complaints about live coverage. Some of the ones I hear most often have to do with Terry Miller’s style or Avery Jenkins being too busy (moving arms and head a bunch) on camera. Then you always get the lost feed complaints or muted audio complaints. These guys work pretty hard and to having to deal with constant complaints is ridiculous in my opinion.  So this year, we don’t get live coverage. Here is the one downfall I see, but am willing to overcome/ignore.

The drama and instant gratification provided by live coverage. Imagine not seeing Johne McCray miss Hole 17 with his lead in 2014? That was an incredible moment for the viewing audience. We won’t have that this year. As for instant gratification, we won’t have that either. Most of us will know what happened, who shot the hot round, who aced and ultimately, who won the whole thing before we even see it on video. So we will have to try and combat social media updates for the entire event (good luck). Will I still watch the coverage knowing results and happenings before-hand? Of course. Jomez Productions and The SpinTV put out killer quality and anyone would be a fool to pass over their videos. I will watch, and so will you. You will see the rounds, the players, the aces, the dramatic moments, and more. It just wont be LIVE, and that’s OK.

I reached out to several of the disc golf media producers we all know and love and here are some their thoughts on the situation. (I’ll updates this as they get back to me.)

Ian Anderson of Central Coast Disc Golf – “It’s interesting, I can understand the decision. Post is cheaper, gets more views, and according to the dgcr poll, 75-80% prefer next day post to live coverage”

Jamie Thomas of The SpinTV – “I for one absolutely believe that sports are better live. When people say they wish we had live coverage, I 100% understand where they’re coming from. I’m not mad at anyone for longing for a livestream. It’s natural even to be upset…I’m a Saints fan, I watch our team take the field every year and there’s a certain sense of urgency because we’re scared we may never again capture that magic we have now. So from that perspective I totally get it.
What gets me, however, is the implication that what we are doing is automatically less important, less prestigious, or lower quality than (for example) what I did with Smashboxx at the DGPT Finals. I’m here with some of the top talent in our industry (just like I was in Vermont), working long hours, and really throwing our passion and expertise into our work. Is it a different format? Sure. Is there a “lack” or “lower tier” of media? No way.”

Dana Vicich  – “Honestly, it isn’t that big of a deal. The knee jerk reaction for a lot of people is to get upset about it. But instead, I’m going to look at the big picture here. I am going to trust in the vision that Jussi Meresmaa, Jonathon Poole [and the rest of the USDGC/DGWT staff] have for their event(s) and the growth of disc golf.
While patiently waiting for the post produced rounds, I do plan on following the action through the various DGWT social media outlets (Facebook live, Instagram, Twitter). And of course, I’ll be logged in to the DGWT Scoring Metrix, cheering for my friends.”

Bobby Brown of Dynamic Discs – “I think it is a big deal from the perspective of the disc golf fanatics. The diehard disc golf fan is invested in the disc golf season as they have watched the victories and losses of their favorite player. They want to watch as the drama unfolds. I believe that what Jussi and his media team will put together will no doubt be top notch but, because we will already know the outcome, it will be missing the “in the moment” drama that only live coverage can bring.”

There you have it. Some varying opinions from those behind the camera. Enjoy your 2016 USDGC, no matter which way you get to consume it.

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