Women’s soccer leagues: How much video should fans expect?

Do you need a live stream of your local women’s soccer team? Highlights? What else?

Here’s one suggestion from a BigSoccer thread:

I have NO problem with games not streaming for free anymore, I think they aren’t really worth the laborious efforts and will never generate enough interest and should not be done unless a time comes where it can be shown they generate pay-per-view subscriptions or ticket sales. However, goals and highlights videos should be put on official youtube channels (free on demand hosting) weekly, as well as new coach/player interviews daily.

I can only speak for myself, but live streams generally don’t do much for me unless they’re professionally produced — usually a live local TV broadcast replicated online. They usually go like this:

Hey, that green blob just passed to another green blob. This could be a chance. Where’s the ball? …. (buffering) ….. WHY IS THE ANNOUNCER SHOUTING AT ME?!?!

But highlights and interviews are good. Maybe “daily” is a stretch. But weekly? Should be possible.

Being an amateur videographer myself (in a promotion/relegation scheme, I’d probably be eighth division), I’d suggest a few tips for teams to keep the budget low and still put forth some solid video content:

1. Get one or two cameras, maybe just basic Flipcams, in addition to whatever they’re using to shoot the game for scouting purposes. Get creative with placing these — maybe in the corners, or maybe use the behind-the-goal view in this D.C. United Women highlight reel to show how the plays unfolded.

2. Free video editing software is abundant. You Mac people could probably recommend something better than what I’m using.

3. Captions are your friends. Who’s that Number 8 who just scored? Who ¬†got the assist? Was this the 23rd minute or a stoppage-time winner? If your free video editing software makes captions difficult, choose again.

4. Learn how to frame an interview. Notice the difference between ESPN’s typical studio interviews and the “camera in the face” interviews you often see elsewhere. (To be fair, Fox is professional, and I once thought they were about to push the camera up Ives Galarcep’s nose.)

Maybe NSCAA could help teach teams how to do this. Amanda Vandervort has led popular sessions teaching coaches and team managers to to do social media. Video is the next step in social media.

Live games just don’t need to be a priority. If the new league gets a TV deal, great — and maybe some of the teams’ highlights can be featured in an “Around the League” segment at halftime. But before everyone tries to rewire the Maryland Soccerplex and hire webcast commentators, mastering YouTube would be a great step.