Red Cards : IFSC Charges To Watch Climbing World Cups
The IFSC, the governing body of international competive climbing, has signed a 3-year deal with US-based streaming company Flosports to bring Climbing World Cup events to its Floclimbing platform. In fact, the World Cup live stream will no longer be free. A decision climbers oppose because they believe that access to competition streams should be as easy as possible.
The IFSC Boulder World Cup opening ceremony got off to a feisty start, with all of the athletes displaying their disapproval of the recent announcement by showing red cards. The response that the climbing community has shown so far is nothing short of remarkable.
FloClimbing, which is a subscription-based online service, will offer all of climbing events in 2017-2019. It’s starting with this weekend’s Bouldering World Cup event, which takes place in Meiringen, Switzerland. It will also offer original documentaries on the sport’s iconic athletes. As well as technique breakdowns, breaking news, highlights, interviews and more.
Free contents or not ?
Historically all World Cup events could be streamed live for free. And archived on YouTube to be watched for free. Now the only way to watch World Cup events is with an annual subscription to Flosports which will cost $150 paid annual or $20 month.
In a press release, the IFSC stated, “This partnership with FloSports will allow the IFSC to invest more resources than ever before into Sport Climbing. This will result in a more viable economic environment for the events, host countries and athletes. The new deal will also allow the IFSC to create more content, high quality production and more in depth coverage than ever before. This will allow the IFSC to reach a broader audience”
Not everyone is happy with the new paid format. There is now a Change.org petition asking the IFSC to cancel the subsription fees, that is quickly gaining signatures. The Austrian climbing team, a major player in international competitions, posted on their official Facebook page a plea for people to write into the IFSC. And tell them comps should be free to watch. Even professional athletes are getting in on the backlash.
Access to events streaming should be as easy as possible, in order to continue to promote climbing. Even if sport climbing will be in Olympics in Tokyo. Tell us what is your opinion !