What does everything think the future outlook of the AUDL looks like? Personally, I am having a number of doubts. I would love to discuss some of the issues that I feel are relevant and get a feel for what the community thinks. A few issues I would like to touch on:
-New rules and refs
I believe that the new rules and refs are a great addition to the sport. I understand the concern some people have with this, but I believe they are needed to legitimize the sport. Yes, I am a big fan of spirt of the game, but anyone who has played at a competitive level can understand that it can be difficult to make an 'accurate' and 'honest' call in the heat of the moment. The sport is very specific. Picks, screens, fouls, violations, and the like can be difficult to assess when you are focused on playing. I support yardage penalties because I believe it's needed to discourage unsportsmanlike conduct.
My greatest concern with the AUDL is how it is handling its publicity. I firmly believe their gravest mistake was allowing a pay-per-view style publication of the games. I understand the need for revenue, but I believe this is poorly thought through. I cannot be the only one who thinks that it is ridiculous to charge viewers per game. The prices range anywhere from $2.99 to $7.99 depending on how desperate they appear. More importantly, they offer no promises on quality. I surely do not expect ESPN quality camera resolution and angles, so how do I know what I am paying for? And more importantly, how do you expect to increase recognition of the sport? No one outside of avid hardcore Ultimate players are going to be interested in paying. It is absolutely phenomenal that the sport is making ESPN highlights, but that alone is not enough to ensure the continued promotion of the sport. Spreading highlights of games limits the public view of the sport. I love watching full games of Ultimate just as much as I love watching full games of basketball. If you don't allow viewership to grow, the public will continue to be as bored with the sport as they are now. They need an opportunity to watch the sport in its entirety to learn to appreciate the flow and movement of the sport, to appreciate the strategies, defense, and offense. Yes, highlights are amazing. But they are hurting viewership because people only want to see the big plays and don't want to watch the sport, especially not if they have to pay for it. I would gladly pay money to view the sport in person. I would gladly pay $15 - $20 for tickets, but not to view it on the internet. The AUDL should look to other venues to raise revenue.
The sustainability of the sport is at stake. They are fighting for attention. I’m not even convinced they will make it past their first year unless they promote promote promote. Yet the website seems poorly run, I can rarely find up-to-date highlights, and find the entire league lacking in commitment. Where is the excitement? Where are the cheers? Where is the trash-talking? Why does the pro-shop lack any quality products? Thoughts, comments, concerns?
Feel free to email me at:[email protected]