It’s time for another official blog welcome to another official curling season!
This blogpost deals with curling “webstreams”, or live curling coverage you can watch on your computer or mobile device through the internet. This blogpost has been a long time coming, because rabid curling fans have already been watching live curling webstreams for a few years now.
Years ago there was the subscription service CurlTV, which died a sad but inevitable death (The Curling News, March 2012 edition). Recently, Canadian broadcasters have either provided live webstreams in tandem with their live TV coverage (CBC) or they’ve provided video on demand, or VOD, that is posted a few hours after each live broadcast (TSN).
The World Curling Federation now boasts a YouTube channel, and they host live webstreamed game coverage of events that are not otherwise televised – such as the World Mixed Doubles and World Junior Championships, the Winter Universiade (World University Games) and more. One WCF broadcast partner, Eurosport, televises WCF games (from the the European and World Championships) and then also webstreams extra games to its subscribers.
In addition, more and more smaller groups – including volunteers at grass roots curling clubs – have stuck a camera behind the glass and started Do-It-Yourself (DIY) webstreaming, though providers such as Livestream.
It’s tough for even the most rabid fans to discover (and remember) where they can find and watch so much online curling. One solution is to subscribe to The Curling News and also follow us on Twitter and Facebook– why, you ask?
For starters, each print issue features our “Curling TV Guide” section, where we highlight all major television and webstreamed coverage on a monthly basis. There is tons of great coverage available to various regions within Canada, but we also point directly to global coverage in Europe, the United States, Asia, South America and across the interweb.
In addition, our online properties, particularly our Twitter feed, have been highlighting the games to watch for a few years now… and that includes last-minute streaming events that only come to our attention after a press deadline.
But that’s not all. Here in September of 2012, there are three particular online curling streaming providers that have caught our eye – and they should catch yours, too.
The first is LAOLA TV, a Swiss-based online broadcaster now in its third year of hosting events from the Curling Champions Tour , ie. the World Curling Tour of Europe. They use multiple cameras, replays and a graphics package and they also feature game commentary in English (LAOLA also streams various Swiss curling association playdowns, and that game commentary is provided in either Swiss-German or Swiss-French).
It’s a good show, and the CCT fields include the top European teams plus a handful of Canadians – such as Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue two weeks ago, and two Halifax women’s teams today and this weekend (the Mary-Ann Arsenault/Colleen Jones combo and Heather Smith-Dacey).
The CCT event schedule started in late August and runs through the new year, but the highest concentration of events takes place right now – September – through late November. For the LAOLA curling homepage and streaming schedule, plus archived 2010 and 2011 games on demand, click here.
Some CCT events, like this weekend’s Oslo Cup, are also simulcast on another European webcurling portal: Curlingkanalen. This Swedish outfit has been around for some six years, and they also partner with the Swedish curling association for sanctioned domestic playdowns. In the past, Curlingkanalen has also provided the back end for Swedish-based Eurosport curling shows.
They also use multiple cameras and replays, and they provide some of their coverage – like the CCT events – in English. For the Curlingkanalen homepage, click here.
Our third featured provider is pretty new at this streaming game, and they’ve built a two-headed creation.
Part one is CurlingZone, a good friend of ours and the Canadian super-portal of all things curling. After experimenting at some Grand Slam championships late last season, CurlingZone has jumped into event streaming this fall, and as of today and this weekend, they’re already covering their third event of the new season!
The Zoners have struck a partnership with 12th End Sports Network (TESN), a sophomore U.S. group that streams various U.S. events during the season – some of them are sanctioned playdowns at either the city, state or national level, and others are recreational leagues or funspiels at the club level. Together, Curling Zone and TESN are streaming a bunch of North American tournaments from the World and Ontario Curling Tours.
Thus far it’s an evolving template – the camera placements vary from event to event, and the audio is a mixture of behind-the-glass game commentary and/or player microphones. Adding to the DIY feel is the fact that special guest commentators (from various levels of curling notoriety) can be grabbed from the crowd and plunked down in front of the microphone at any moment!
And now… after all that, we’re sure you want to watch some curling this weekend, right?
Here’s a quick rundown of the games that are planned for September 21-23 on LAOLA, Curlingkanalen and CurlingZone/TESN – and keep in mind that any game coverage plans can change at the discretion of the providers…
Sept 21 – 12 noon ET (18:00 CET) • KW Fall Classic W Sidorova (RUS) vs Farnell (ONT) • CurlingZone/TESN
Sept 21 – 2:45pm ET (20:45 CET) • KW Fall Classic W Nimik (ONT) vs Cadorin (ONT) • CurlingZone/TESN
Sept 21 – 5:00pm ET (23:45 CET) • KW Fall Classic W Hastings (ONT) vs Russell (ONT) • CurlingZone/TESN
Sept 21 – 7:45pm ET (01:45 CET) • KW Fall Classic M Higgs (ONT) vs Kean (ONT) • CurlingZone/TESN
Sept 22 – 2:00am ET (08:00 CET) • Oslo Cup M Eriksson (SWE) vs Brewster (SCO) • LAOLA/Curlingkanalen
Sept 22 – 4:20am ET (10:20 CET) • Oslo Cup W Middaugh (CAN) vs Githmark (NOR) • LAOLA/Curlingkanalen
Sept 22 – 6:40am ET (12:40 CET) • Oslo Cup M Ulsrud (PANTS) vs Uusipaavalniemi (FIN) • LAOLA/Curlingkanalen
Sept 22 – 8:45am ET (14:45 CET) • KW Fall Classic W Brown (USA) vs Romain (ONT) • CurlingZone/TESN
Sept 22 – 1:45pm ET (19:45 CET) • KW Fall Classic W/M TBA • CurlingZone/TESN
Sept 22 – 4:00pm ET (22:00 CET) • KW Fall Classic W/M TBA – CurlingZone/TESN
Sept 22 – 6:45pm ET (00:45 CET) • KW Fall Classic W Auld (ONT) vs Marshall (ONT) – CurlingZone/TESN
Sept 22 – 9:00pm ET (03:45 CET) • KW Fall Classic W/M TBA – CurlingZone/TESN
Sept 23 – 2:00am ET (08:00 CET) • Oslo Cup W Quarterfinal (TBA) • LAOLA/Curlingkanalen
Sept 23 – 4:15am ET (10:15 CET) • Oslo Cup M Quarterfinal (TBA) • LAOLA/Curlingkanalen
Sept 23 – 7:00am ET (13:00 CET) • Oslo Cup W/M Semifinal (TBA) • LAOLA/Curlingkanalen
Sept 22 – 9:00am ET (15:00 CET) • KW Fall Classic W/M Quarterfinal • CurlingZone/TESN
Sept 23 – 10:00am ET (16:00 CET) • Oslo Cup W/M Final (TBA) • LAOLA/Curlingkanalen
Sept 23 – 12:30pm ET (18:30 CET) • KW Fall Classic W/M Semifinal • CurlingZone/TESN
Sept 23 – 3:30pm ET (21:30 CET) • KW Fall Classic W/M Final • CurlingZone/TESN
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