America’s Cup: How your opinion is impacted

Published on August 22nd, 2013

No event attracts opinion and comment like the America’s Cup. It is the one event that we, as sailing enthusiasts, are intrinsically linked to. It is the peak of our sport. It is, by force, a reflection of what sailing is.

With the effort invested in this edition to improve audience access to the event, your opinion is impacted by how you are experiencing it…

Written: The America’s Cup is never short of intrigue. The design element is closely followed, but so is human error. Always pushing the boundary, people just can’t help but cross the line. And in this edition, there is loads of fluff to fight through. Creating the ‘greatest show on earth’ requires a lot of barker-ism. With 3+ years of promo to maybe 11 weeks of racing, the non-racing stories are dominant. Not everyone likes the negative, the controversy, which the written word covers best. The drama is either embraced or disdained.

On-Site: This edition can’t help but succeed. It is located in a town that walks, along a stretch of water flush with people. Parks, bike paths, tourism are a natural draw. Entertainers dot the sidewalks. Street artists, magicians, musicians, etc. Bookending this expanse is the AC Village at one end and the AC Park at the other. Hard to imagine what more could be done at these venues. Significant investment. Stimulation galore. There are ways to spend money, but it can all be free too. And when the AC72s pass by we are reminded it’s all for a race. Hard to intently watch, but easy to see.

Broadcast: The greatest development of AC34 is how the race is delivered by broadcast. If you want to watch the racing, really watch the racing, the broadcast is the only way. More cameras, more audio than ever before. The graphics answer all the questions that once existed. If there ever is close racing, the broadcast will be riveting. But without it, the lack of passing and parity is glaring.

The boats are riveting to see, but is that enough to grow interest? Close attention will be given to the broadcast numbers. If they don’t grow significantly over last weekend’s report, it may be a sign that shortening the skirt of a 162 year event isn’t what enough people want to see.

Challenger races are scheduled for Friday through Sunday. Click here for the Louis Vuitton Cup race and broadcast schedule.

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