Coming out of the 2016 season, one of our big misses was coverage of the women. We had very little of it. This was a focus point for improvement in 2017. A second area of improvement was the live broadcast, specifically the shaky-cam walking down the Fairway.
Working very closely with Smashboxx, a system was developed where we would record the women’s footage in the morning, edit it in the late morning and early afternoon, and play it during the live broadcast. This worked out to where if we showed the women’s round after the men drove, we would have about a minute to cover each hole for the women. This would give us more coverage of the women, much more, and give us assets to play during the live broadcast.
All was well in the world. With about 12 hours of work each morning (recording the footage, running the cards, editing the footage, uploading downloading and preparing the footage for the live broadcast), we were able to get footage of the women and work towards telling a compelling story for them as well as the men.
After the first event, the Memorial Championship presented by Discraft, we had a huge success on our hands. There was no commentary, no player names, and no scores. People loved it! There was no shaky-cam, and there was at least some coverage of the women.
Over the course of the season, we added in player names, scores, and even commentary. The commentary also saw many phases of improvement over the season, including two microphone upgrades and a little hole analysis. It was genuinely fun watching our process improve, making us able to implement better coverage of the women throughout the season.
About halfway through the season, requests started to come in for the women’s coverage that was included in the live coverage to be released as a stand-alone piece. While it was initially difficult to find the extra few hours to make this happen, we again continue to improve the process and are now able to do it consistently the day after the tournament.
I am very proud of what the team has accomplished from last year to this year. The strides we made in one year were nothing short of amazing. To everyone that said thank you and keep on improving, you are very welcome and we will do our best to continue improving. There is a small contingent of viewers who express their desire for us to continue improving in relatively negative terms. One person went so far as to say that they would boycott Pro Tour partners until the women’s coverage improves.
All of these comments, whether they use the Sandwich Method or are blunt and incendiary, are saying the same thing. We like to watch women’s disc golf, and we want the women’s coverage to be better. Happily, we are all in the same boat and the Pro Tour will continue to work hard to improve women’s coverage.
We all have the same goals of getting live coverage and fantastic edited coverage of the women. The resources are not currently there to do this, so we will continue to take incremental steps towards our mutual goal. Overall, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, the desire for even better coverage shows that people want to watch. Everything going on, including our ever-improving coverage at the women, is a positive. One thing we would love to do next year is to dedicate additional resources towards improving the edited versions of the women.
Women’s Coverage Partner Wanted: with one extra editor, we would be able to significantly improve for next year. If you or your business would like to get mad props for helping to make this happen, please email us, let’s earmark some money and get it done!