In this office, coverage of today’s Ryder Cup was provided by Radio 5 Live (sound) and the BBC Sport website (text). No one subscribed to Sky’s online coverage (why would you when the minimum subscription is a month, at £15).
The audio and text updates made for decent, if slightly confusing, drama. But it would have been better to watch live images. Sky isn’t too bothered about this and the Beeb can’t afford the rights. The dodgy option, the p2p link for free streaming, was useless.
Is there an alternative?
In the not-too-distant future it might be possible to marry text, images and audio via a Twitter-like feed, with followers signing up for the day, possibly for a small fee. Individual enthusiasts may be able to create their own sports channel, editing various amateur feeds (fans will be able to shoot decent video & upload AudioBoo sound on mobile phones). It won’t have 24 HD cameras, 8 commentators and be available in 3D, but it might be a decent, cheap alternative to the pro broadcasters.
Amateur broadcasters are already building up a following on Twitter (like 944,576 others, I follow @empireofthekop for Liverpool new and minute-by-minute match coverage), and they’re not limited by geography. Technology and networking opportunities will help amateurs play around the edges. Bring it on.