Online sports viewing: Skeptic changes tune

Philip Hersh, who writes for the Olympics Blog at the Los Angeles Times has a posting on live webcasts of figure skating. He first highlights a statement he made 3 years ago concerning the state of figure skating on TV.

“The forecast is so ominous that it could turn figure skating into primarily an Internet sport as a broadcast commodity, barely a decade after its over-the-air network TV ratings and income were sky high."

He then backtracks from this original statement to note that:
1) The quality of webcasts are improving and younger viewers are more inclined to watch them on their computer
2) The internet is giving more fans the opportunity to watch it live
3) The TV revenue has decreased, but the adspace on the ice rinks are still getting exposure.

As perhaps the world’s biggest proponent of online webcasts for handball, I can only say hear-hear. The IHF is making the Women’s World Championship available and the EHF even provides Champions League matches for free. If only the Liga Asobal, Handball Bundesliga and others would realize that the TV money will come if they make their product available to more folks on line. The sooner the better.

LA Times (8 Dec 09): Webcasts no longer doomsday for figure skating:
THN (22 Sep 09): German Bundesliga blocks internet Handball broadcasts to rest of world: