USA Rugby, WTF IT?
Dear USA Rugby:
It's 2015. You are never going build Rugby in America if you keep having "IT issues". I can watch MLS soccer and other random stuff (PlutoTV) through any device I own, including my TV (novel place to watch sports). They have a channel that is nothing but cat videos from youtube 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I'm sure you can get get a USA Rugby youtube channel in there.
Team up with Netflix or Amazon. Be the First live sport on Netflix or Amazon. The one thing people are holding out on cable for is their sports. It's 2015, start acting like a 2015 sport. Going to a website that is jittery, crashes half the time and has a chat room limited to 250 people isn't going to cut it. Do you have any idea how many hoops we are willing to jump through to get Rugby at our pub or on our TV? It shouldn't be this hard. Some of us old Ruggers no think words so good, make it easy.
When we asked why you turned off the sound on the second field it was "because of vulgarity". I came to watch Rugby and I came to watch Rugby the way Rugby is watched Saturdays in America. It's the way it was played when my mom played. It was the way it was played when my dad played. "On" the sidelines cheering for my team and occasional swearing.
How many people do you think you lost over having no audio on Field 2 and terrible coverage over how many you think you retained by having a Rugby sidelines PG? I grew up on the side of a pitch. Us Rugby kids turn out just fine, even if they hear the occasional vulgarity.
My friends and I ended up resorting to vLine so we could yell for our team (Go Chicago Lions!) together. If it's that important to you set up an 18+ area where us Ruggers can sit and watch the Rugby game. Gamers audio chat all the time. I want a 50 person party line to celebrate with. If you want quiet docile fans stick to another sport. You've already made this realization in Vegas.
I want to see a periscope from the sidelines. I want to feel like I'm standing next to the pitch.
In September if you want to actually appeal to Rugby players do an "ESPN Game Day" from Soldier Field's Parking Lot. Send people around the crowd. That's where the true action is. That's where USA Rugby is. It's not the 22 people on the field. It's the 61,000 CIPP paying people that got there at 8 am to hang out with team-mates. I ran into more Ruggers that I ever knew I knew and what's what makes this sport great. I'm probably not even going to buy a ticket. I'm making the 5 hour drive from where I live to hang out in the parking lot to turn around and go home. If you want my money you need to stop pretending I don't exist.
I drove 13 hours to go to a Georgia Rugby tournament because it was there. I would rather spend my money on that stuff because you seemingly don't care about those of us that actually built and carry this sport in America. It certainly shows in your IT effort to broadcast my friends games.
If you're still at a loss as to how to handle the IT, maybe you can ask Mark Cuban how he did it with IU basketball games. (It only earned him a billion or so). That was in 1999. You are now just slightly worse than IU Basketball coverage was in 1999 done from a single ISDN line.
It's 2015, not having a decent stream isn't how you grow a sport. That's how you kill one.
Edit: If anyone wants to know what I'm talking about. This is what fans were treated to for 8 minutes today before the start of the Men's Finals.
If you want to know why Club 7s coverage is so terrible the company they are using for the streaming is SoundQue out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Take a few minutes to poke around their: soundque.com. They've been webcasting "since 2004", and it shows. The features they use to upsell their basic service are a DVD of the event and a broadcast on an "applicable broadcast channel". Raise your hand if you're all able to tune in local public access station 4 and have used a DVD recently. Here is/was their facebook page. Does that look like the sort of company you want handling your online streaming in 2015?
If you're having trouble with the streams check out my short instruction manual on how to play it in another porgram. You can even download your team's matches so they can watch it (Seriously USA Rugby, I had my friend's matches up less than 5 minutes after the final whistle. For free. From my home. 600 miles from Iowa.)
[As for the broadcasting company, they're not even using Facebook correct]: