WSL Signs New TV Rights Deal With Fox Sports US
“Tap tap, is this thing on?”
A couple of days ago the WSL announced that they’d penned a new deal with Fox Sports in the US. The Dirty Digger’s network will be broadcasting the Men’s and Women’s 2019 WSL, as well as the Big Wave Tour. Fox will apparently broadcast more than 500 hours of WSL content in ’19 across Fox, FS1 and the Fox Sports App.
“We’re delighted with the additional coverage FOX Sports will bring to our events and millions of fans across multiple platforms,” said WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt in the presser.
“With our athletes continuing to take the sport to new performance levels, more people than ever can now witness the excitement of professional surfing and everything that comes with our world-class events.” And that’s it for the command c/v and the paraphrasing. Phew.
The real interest here lies in the timing of the deal. The announcement of the Fox Sports deal comes midway through the tenure of the WSL x Facebook deal (reportedly worth $30mil) that’s caused so much uproar, suggesting a take it where you can get it mentality in Goldschmidt’s camp currently.
However, if you’re young(ish) and know how to operate a computer all this is moot. No one has Foxtel anymore (except your parents and the pub) and regardless of Facebook, if it’s on and you want to watch it, you’re either on your phone, laptop, or—on those rare occasions where it all lines up—watching it at home on Apple TV or an HDMI plugged straight into the monitor. Seems to me that it’s never been accessibility that’s held the pinnacle of our sport back.
The problem with televised professional surfing is that if the waves are mush then it’s more tedious than test cricket, and the majority of its downtime spent listening to non-trained media professionals. The great unwashed perceive that they’ve got better things to do.
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