There is one type of content that makes “television” the most compelling entertainment media available: live sports. If streaming video — also known as “over the top” — is going to make serious inroads into the traditional linear television broadcasting markets, it will need to offer “better-than-television” coverage. And we’ve already seen many experiments that are making significant progress in this direction.
For example, the Olympics in China had more than 2,000 hours of coverage available online, which was significantly more than was broadcast on the several networks that provided programming in this country. It was a great way to follow some of the less-popular events (including my personal favorite, sailing, which rarely gets any network screen time), even though much of the coverage was presented without commentary.
Now you can follow another major sporting event online. Livestream is partnering with Wimbledon to provide online coverage of this famous tennis tournament. The broadcasts are free and will include live coverage of major matches. The high definition programming will also include player interviews, press conferences, and highlights. The Wimbledom.com site will offer the live stream, as well as an archive of clips.
This is an exciting development, and provides sports fans one more reason to connect a browser-capable device to their big screen. It also exposes one more crack in the wall that used to be the broadcast networks’ impenetrable barrier to effective competition. Online streaming video can only continue to grow more popular as a result of developments like this.