OUA.tv kicks off: people get caught up on the little things, lack perspective

OUA.tv's launch has been a success, but people have decided to pick at the loose threads.

There was widespread praise - especially for the McMaster game, a simulcast with Cogeco's Cable 14 - for the first slot of football games. The feeds are high quality and you can watch four games at once. It is a modern style of broadcasting games, and the OUA deserves a ton of credit for the smooth launch.

As most things seem to go in the Twittersphere, the praise did not last long. Quickly, people started criticizing the quality of commentary and making that the focus, rather than .

I knew this would happen, because I watched a soccer game earlier in the week and it was less-than-great. Terms were borrowed from a hockey lexicon and thrown in a soccer setting, creating for some hilarious phrasings.

But I'm asking for some perspective. You are watching live sports, for the cost of whatever you pay for Internet, most broadcasts are in HD, with running live stats, on your laptop/phone/tablet, and if you miss the game, you can rewatch it later. Yet here we are, complaining about the commentary of a game.

I get it. It hurts the broadcast and perpetuates the belief that the OUA isn't a big-time league. But really, if the commentary is that bad, why don't you just turn it off? The software is comprehensive, so you can get most of the same info from the platform or Twitter.

And students seem to be the targets of the criticism, which is frankly embarrassing. They are doing this as a learning experience because maybe they want to do some form of this work in the future. It is a university athletics broadcast and they are using a university setting to cut their teeth. Someone takes time out of their Saturday (or in this case, Monday) to a) help build the OUA's profile and b) learn. But here we are, hurling shade in 140 characters or less.

There are experienced people doing the broadcasts, a valuable and rare commodity. More veterans would be nice for the enjoyment of the viewer, but it might be hard to find them. Plus, if you're looking for people with real-world experience, they may want compensation (which is limited) and working a Saturday afternoon isn't an attractive option for people with families or M-F 9-5 jobs.

Just mute the broadcast and move on. Find the broadcast crews you can tolerate and tune out everything else. Let's stop complaining about the little things and just enjoy some sports.

(Oh, and if you've never broadcast a game before, please give it a go before continuing your criticism. It isn't easy and you find yourself saying weird, fumbled statements because of nerves. Let's go easy on everyone.)
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  1. Yup, 140 characters doesn't seem to leave a lot of room for criticism of the constructive kind, unfortunately. Other than the relatively poor picture from the Windsor broadcast --Windsor used Stretch Internet last year so I know they can produce a better picture. Its only the first game so there's plenty of time on the learning curve to get it right-- I thought the rollout went pretty well too. If I were to offer some constructive suggestions, I'd suggest the respective schools work towards a degree of continuity in developing and assisting talent for their broadcasts. The MIT departments, along with those in the sports sections of the student paper biz, would be a good place to start. Reach out to those who have done the deed previously and foster that relationship. Perhaps setting the kids up with sport and broadcasting community mentors, for feedback, grading, suggestions, and a shoulder to occasionally cry on, would help. If the OUA's going to give this thing a go, there ought to be support and guidance available for those kids narrating their school's voice. If you're going to do it, do it like it matters. As I said, great first step! I can't wait to see how this thing grows.

    1. Some solid suggestions. Time-heavy, but if you could get the right people willing to donate their time, we would be all right.

      I have asked the OUA is there is a feedback system coming. There were times where a broadcast angle was just not helpful at all.

      You are right though, it is a first step. I don't know why some people expected this to go off without a hitch, when the announcement was made at the end of May. Not a lot of turnaround time.