Our small island has been invaded.
For so many years professional surfing has been our secret garden. A place only we knew existed. We could slip into its WSL app after work or sometimes even during work and be amongst 379 other likeminded souls. There we would sit, comforted by the velvety tones of Joe Turpel and insights into what it takes to be ’89 world champ. We would watch Jeremy Flores wiggle for an extra .3 or Adriano de Souza pump his fist and feel… ok. It was ok to watch because 378 other likeminded souls were watching too.
Our own private Idaho.
But no longer.
First the WSL did a deal with Facebook and we nervously laughed, then the WSL did a deal with CBS and we looked around confused. Now the WSL is doing a deal with Turner Broadcasting and Bleacher Sports and are you still here to even read the press release?
Bleacher Report Live – Turner Sports’ new premium sports streaming platform – has reached a wide-ranging partnership with World Surf League (WSL) to distribute live coverage of elite surfing competitions, while becoming the official destination for championship-caliber video on demand content, replays and highlights for the league. As part of the agreement, beginning this season, Turner Ignite Sports will also partner with WSL to sell sponsorship opportunities.
The new partnership – showcasing the world’s best professional surfing events – will begin with the inaugural Founders’ Cup of Surfing presented by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, May 5-6. B/R Live will offer 12 hours of live Founders’ Cup coverage at the WSL Surf Ranch, in which five teams representing USA, Brazil, Australia, Europe and a World Team will compete over the two-day specialty event held in Lemoore, Calif.
“World Surf League has an established community of very passionate fans and B/R Live will serve as a destination for those seeking direct access to these exciting competitions that showcase the best surfers in the world,” said Hania Poole, Vice President and General Manager, B/R Live. “From live event competitions to on-demand content and a deep collection of video highlights, we’re looking forward to creating the best experience for fans to discover this premium content on B/R Live.”
“It’s an exciting time for surfing and the World Surf League as the sport’s popularity and interest continues to grow,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL Chief Executive Officer. “Our new B/R Live partnership is evidence of this and we are thrilled to offer sports fans another way to enjoy incredible WSL surfing action live and on demand.”
WSL joins the growing portfolio of live sports events that will be available directly through B/R Live including UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, NBA League Pass games, 65 NCAA Championships, PGA Championship, National Lacrosse League, The Spring League, World Arm Wrestling League and more. B/R Live is currently available on iOS, Android and the Web.
Now I know how the gays felt when their bars turned into trendy drinking holes for open-minded social explorers.
We should make a secret handshake so we know who’s who. Right?