In 2017, I posted an opinion piece on the WESPA website
about the importance of live streaming, and how embracing this medium is something we must look to as part of overall growth in the game.
It was part of a trend that has seen demand for “games” coverage grow, which has been easier to meet thanks to advances in technology. Nowadays, even a mid-range smartphone can provide quality streaming coverage live to social media.
Social media also craves video coverage and sees it as the future for its own platforms.
With this increase in, for want of a better term, product, it is easy to miss an important aspect of any sports coverage: “non-game” material to support the coverage of the game’s players in action.
Whilst some people may consider the topics of Scrabble and sport being together a controversial pairing, it is only when you look at Scrabble from a sports viewpoint that the next stage in the evolution of Scrabble coverage is clear.
As an example, this year’s FIFA World Cup was a four week long football tournament, culminating in a Grand Final. However, there weren’t live games every minute of every day. There were discussions programs, highlights packages, “Tonight” shows – they all served a purpose; to complement the live coverage and to create greater interest in the remainder of the matches to come.
As this article is posted, the 2018 North American Scrabble Championship is reaching its final stages in Buffalo, NY – and, as each conclusion of the day’s play is reached, keen followers of the game are treated, live on Facebook, to a show that demonstrates just how wonderful this complementary coverage can be.
I am referring to NASPA Tonight: for me, as a show and format, it is unmissable.
In many ways, this type of coverage is just as (arguably if not more) important to the growth of competition Scrabble than the live streaming of game play.