America’s Cup: Gone Are The Good Old Days

Published on February 24th, 2016

For those in America’s Cup fandom hoping for the good old days, not monohulls, but easy access to race viewing, we have some bad news. From all appearances, the only way you are going to watch the races in 2016 is if someone pays for it.

The go-to option in 2015 was the free app for smart phones or tablet, but with a cost of $7.99 per America’s Cup World Series event, there was hope – go ahead, admit it – that this experiment in pay-per-view broadcast would be deemed a failure. How could it not be?

Well, while not yet deemed a failure, the service is now being discounted. A season pass for 2016 (six events) is available now for $24.99. A weekend pass for each event is $7.99. The second-screen only option (for territories where rights restrictions preclude live race video coverage) is $3.99 for a weekend pass.

Rights restrictions are another good news, bad news situation. See, the America’s Cup Event Authority has had the hammer down to secure exclusive broadcast partners. While getting the America’s Cup on television might seem like the Holy Grail, once the broadcast rights are secured, access to anything that competes with the broadcast partner is limited.

If you are still wondering if the good old days of live YouTube broadcasts are coming back, you’ll have a better chance of seeing J Class yachts vying for the Auld Mug in Bermuda. Stop dreaming… forget about it.

The latest round of broadcast reality has been released for the America’s Cup World Series Oman event on February 27-28. Perhaps most telling is…

♦ Bermuda gets live television coverage.
♦ United States gets a one hour highlight show on March 12.

For those who would have thought the US defender’s loyal fans at Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco would have gotten some love, think again. Ouch!

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