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FloClimbing streaming IFSC events for money


Original Post
amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20

The IFSC, the governing body of international competive climbing has signed a 3-year deal with US-based streaming company Flosports to bring IFSC Climbing World Cup events to its Floclimbing platform.

FloClimbing, which is a subscription-based online service, will offer all of IFSC’s events in 2017-2019, starting with this weekend’s IFSC Bouldering World Cup event, which takes place in Meiringen, Switzerland, plus original documentaries on the sport’s iconic athletes, as well as technique breakdowns, breaking news, highlights, interviews and more.

Historically all World Cup events could be streamed live for free and archived on YouTube to be watched for free.  Now the only way to watch World Cup events is with an annual subscription to Flosports which will cost $150 paid annual or $20 month. 

More at Climbing Business Journal

The interwebs are not amused :)

Max Rieg · · Madison, WI · Joined May 2016 · Points: 5

The youtube videos of IFSC / World Cup Bouldering / European Championships are what first turned me onto climbing. I stumbled on a video one day and was locked in. Every single person was ripped and amazing. Watching these people do these crazy moves was a huge inspiration. Hearing the commentary helped to build my knowledge from zero to bouldering gumby. From there i researched and join my local climbing gym. That was two and a half years ago. I don't know if I ever would have found climbing without those free youtube videos and that exposure. $150/ year is more than people pay for premium sports packages (baseball / NFL here in the USA). 

Poor choice. I really hope the videos keep getting uploaded to youtube somehow, even if it is after the competition is over. Otherwise I won't be able to watch it. Gross overestimation of the disposable income available to people who watch climbing streams online imho. 

John Badila · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 15

What a joke.  Those videos have been fun to watch, but they will have to up the production values (and maybe do some editing to cut out stretches of nothing happening) if they expect anyone to pay any amount to see this stuff.  This sport is just starting to break into the mainstream, for better or worse, and this seems like bad timing, not to mention way overpriced.  More than Netflix, and it's just World Cup climbing?  I personally won't bother on principle, and I don't know many climbers who actually watch the comp coverage at all, so I'm not sure how big of a market they will find.  

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20
John Badila wrote:

I don't know many climbers who actually watch the comp coverage at all, so I'm not sure how big of a market they will find.  

IFSC has been using YouTube platform to both livestream and archive comp videos, the number of views is being displayed right there on the video descriptions. Even though not everybody is interested in watching those videos, 2016 IFSC World in Paris had over 65k views for Men's Lead Finals according to YouTube stats.

John Badila · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 15

That's a fair number, but how many of those people will pay?  

Brett Shumate · · San Diego, CA · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 55

My wife and I are really bummed about this. We follow and watch the IFSC World Cup similarly to how most people watch their favorite sports team. We have comp nights and watch the events over snacks and beer. We get stoked to see some our favorite climbers compete. We aren't going to pay $20 a month to do that, though, and I bet most other followers of the sport won't either. I have huge respect for people like Adam Ondra and Paul Robinson who have voiced their opinions against decisions like this on their public forums. 

Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100

https://www.change.org/p/cancel-the-ifsc-live-streaming-subscription-fees

Here's a petition floating around the pro climber instafeeds

La Momoface · · Arvada, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 60

I have to say, I do feel bad for whoever is managing the FloClimbing social media accounts because they are getting NAILED.

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20
Momoface wrote:

I have to say, I do feel bad for whoever is managing the FloClimbing social media accounts because they are getting NAILED.

IFSC is getting a lot flak as well - FloClimbing seems to be a cherry on top of a few bad decisions - the Olympic format, changed timing rules for bouldering comps, changed timing for lead events.

La Momoface · · Arvada, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 60

@amarius I  missed the change of timing for lead events, or was that last season? Going from 8 to 6?

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20

IIRC 2017 lead will be 6min. 

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470

I wonder how they arrived at that pricing? It seems steep compared to other content subscription models, but maybe in line with some specialty subscription stuff?  Why the monthly charge instead of some like pay per event fee?

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35

I barely watch the highlight reel of the finals LOL. Good luck getting a % of the 65k people that actually watch it to pay...

La Momoface · · Arvada, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 60

I have no problem with the concept of paying, but for a thing like this it should be per event, and it can't crap out like a majority of IFSC streamed events do.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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