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Video Coverage – Why we do what we do

The Pro Tour provides live and edited coverage of each event throughout the season. Additionally, we bring the Festival of the Flying Discs to each tour stop. We do all of this to bring people to the events, either in person or online. The primary goal, and the only way we will succeed, is to bring more spectators into the sport. These spectators will bring partners (advertisers) into the sport. With the partners – and the spectators seeing and thanking the partners – the Pro Tour will succeed.

Live Coverage vs Edited Coverage

The Pro Tour is committed to developing live coverage. At first blush, this seems contrary to building an audience efficiently. A quick YouTube search of disc golf videos will show that edited videos consistently garner double the views of live coverage. The immediate question would be, “why not focus on edited videos?” Here are some of the advantages of edited videos:

  • More viewers
  • Better fit for trending attention spans
  • Consistent high quality (no cell signal degradation)
  • Easier to focus on critical moments and tell a story – stats, interviews, replays

Let’s run through these advantages, bearing in mind the goals of spectators and partners.

More viewers. On the surface, it would seem that 40,000 viewers is better than 20,000 viewers. And actually it is 40,000 viewers watching twice, so arguably it is 80,000 views (slightly different than viewers but still valid). Now it’s math time, please stick with me. Let’s presume the average watch time is 20 minutes on the edited videos and 30 minutes on the live coverage (the first is an educated guess, the second is known). This means that 80k edited video views watch 1600k minutes of footage. Meanwhile, 20k live video views watch 600k minutes of footage.

So we end with 1600k vs 600k viewer minutes. Which is more valuable?
– Edited views: 1 commercial every 15 minutes leads to 106k commercial views
– Live views: 1 commercials every 6 minutes leads to 60k commercial views

The value of a live sports commercial is worth much more to the advertiser than a “time-shifted” sports view. So, while edited videos do get more views, the value to the Pro Tour is actually less than that of the live broadcast. Additionally, over time, this live broadcast advantage will only get larger as more and more of us get emotionally vested and adapt our schedules to watch the live broadcasts.

Note: The number of people watching the live broadcast will also continue to increase as we get better at doing them. Hopefully you have seen consistent improvement from last year to this year and even throughout this season. Keep watching, we will keep getting better!

Better fit for trending attention spans. We will agree that times are changing and viewing habits are too. People are watching quicker clips and want instant gratification. However, there is, and always will be, the reward of patience. If you jump in and watch the buzzer beater it can be wonderful to see, but if you watched the entire game and were on the edge of your seat, the emotions are so much deeper. We crave these moments and the only way to get them is to commit our time to building the emotions.

Note: As noted above, as we continue to improve the quality of the broadcast, the time that each viewer spends watching will continue to increase. In 2015, average viewer time was under 20 minutes. In 2016, we got to just over 20 minutes. In 2017, we are close to a 30 minute average. Thank you for watching, and for watching longer!

Consistent high quality. Currently, there is no contest here. Live is broadcast (at best) in 720, edited video is uploaded in 1080. Also, there are some locations (Waco and Maple Hill to name a couple) where the broadcast is well below that at times. This is most definitely an argument for edited video. Having said that, cell signals will continue to improve as will video compression algorithms. Live viewers will continue to see improvement (and will continue to notice when the signal is degraded). We will continue to do our best to mitigate those times.

Easier to focus on critical moments. This is also absolutely an advantage for edited video. It is also the reason that we have Jomez at each of our tour stops in addition to Smashboxx TV. There is a strong argument to be made for developing live coverage as well as the audience for live coverage. Additionally, we need to bring new people into the viewership of disc golf. To do this, we need to create an easily digestible show that introduces the mainstream to our sport. These are the event recap videos that Jomez is producing (Memorial and Waco are currently released, Nick Hyde and Jonesboro will be released leading up to the Utah Open).

These videos, like the live broadcast, will continue to improve with our goal of having the Tour Championship recap video be the type of quality – or near to it – that you would see on broadcast television. We will continue to push and improve and the broadcast – live AND edited – is one critical component.

One other note about the coverage of the Pro Tour. We like working with as many video partners as possible. So far we have been grateful to have Prodigy Discs, Central Coast Disc Golf, Jomez Productions and Smashboxx TV all provide video coverage of the Pro Tour. The more coverage we can get, the better. The lead card assignments of the edited video crews are worked out by the Pro Tour and the crews on site. It is necessary to be fair and, bearing in mind that Jomez is creating an event recap video, it is also important to have two camera coverage on the first two cards in the next to last round. This is why you will see Jomez on the 2nd card and, obviously, Smashboxx on the lead card on Moving Day of each event.

Thank you for watching and for caring enough to read about our plans. Let us know what you think and how we can improve.

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