Handball fans world-wide have had the opportunity recently in the past couple of weeks to view live handball matches via the web. In the United States, both the Carolina Cup and Miami Sharks featured live streaming of their weekend tournaments. And the quality of the video was much better than I would have expected for a couple of amateur club tournaments. Miami even added audio commentary featuring Team Handball News reporter Bogdan Pasat and Houston Stars goalie Mark Telthorster.
Carolina Tourney Results: http://www.unc.edu/cthc/CTHC-EVENTS-BC2007.htm
Sharks Invitational Results: http://www.miamisharksteamhandball.org/
In terms of Professional Club Handball some of the quarterfinal matches of the Champion’s League have been broadcast as well. The video feed was fine, but I was puzzled by the lack of audio commentary and the last minute advertising of this video option by Eurosport. Last year the web video offerings were prominently displayed on the EHF Champion’s League website. This time around it is only mentioned on the Eurosport website and you have to search a little bit on their site to find where to click. Frustratingly, for this weekend there is still no indication if any of the games will have a webcast. Compared to last year’s offerings this limited availability is a disappointment. I suspect that it is probably due to the contract with the Eurosport 2 TV channel. Which, of course, is fine if you have access to Eurosport 2. But even Europsport 2 won’t get you coverage of the key quarterfinal match-up of Ciudad Real and Portland San Antonio as this is only available to Spanish viewers.
The German Bundesliga (HBL) has also added matches via the Sportdigital.tv webisite: http://www.sportdigital.tv/index.php A season package can be purchased for 24.95 Euros and free video highlights of matches can be seen at this link: http://www.sportdigital.tv/index.php?pid=995&lang=de As I will be moving back to the US soon this might be something that I’ll consider purchasing next year. Arguably, the HBL is the top league in the world, and if one wanted to follow a professional club league this package would let you finally do it remotely. Unfortunately, however, the HBL currently have no plans to market this web option outside of Germany, which is why the site is strictly in German. And following a league with no understanding of the audio commentary or news articles (in a language you understand) will probably be somewhat unsatisfactory.