5 Small Improvements From OneSoccer That Would Make A Big Difference
Now that the Canadian Premier League has a couple of games under its belt, fans will have had ample time to watch the league on CBC sports or OneSoccer, the streaming service that will cover all 98 games of the league’s inaugural season.
It’s natural that growing pains will be present as OneSoccer and its parent production company, MEDIAPRO, sort out the finer details. It’s no small task to produce games from coast-to-coast with multiple camera angles, announcers, and a variety of supplementary content, and it’s gone fairly well so far.
Still, there are a few tweaks and improvements we feel would make a big difference:
1) Polish The Calling
The first item is one that will likely improve with time. It’s tough for commentators to quickly learn every player name with background information to boot, but some glaring errors have stuck out: the historic moment of the league’s first-ever goal was slightly marred by the commentator thinking Cyrus Rollocks had scored and announcing as such, for instance.
Then, ahead of Pacific FC’s first-ever home game, Dunfield kept calling the Vancouver Isle side ‘FC Pacific’, which is a big miss for a commentator’s baseline knowledge of the league. The commentator for the match itself also called Hendrik Starostzik the Pacific FC skipper for some reason, even though that role clearly belongs to Marcus Haber.
These errors will become less frequent as time goes on, but the league wants to present itself with a full level of professionalism. To achieve that, you need people who know the names of players, clubs, and player roles. Thankfully, the likes of Terry Dunfield and Gareth Wheeler well-known in the Canadian football world, prompting confidence that things will improve to great level.
2) Match Highlight Improvements
The condensed highlights of the inaugural Canadian Premier League game were brief – a bit too brief. As soon as Telfer’s ball hit the back of the net, there’s a half-moment of crowd audio before a jarring cut replays the goal. Fans don’t mind a few extra seconds watching players celebrate a goal – cutting it out felt awkward. The condensed highlights can still be brief, but perhaps not quite as brief as they’ve been. In an ideal word, these highlights would also have commentary included. All-in-all, it’s a very minor complaint.
3) Consider An Aerial Lift For Sideline Cameras
While tall stadiums like the likes of Tim Hortons Field and Investors Group Field provide ample height to get an excellent camera view of the pitch, shorter stadiums like Westhills or Wanderers Ground do not. This makes it harder to parse what’s happening at the opposite side of the pitch, as players in the foreground tend to get in the way of the action.
A solution to consider would be to utilize an aerial lift to provide a more elevated view. The cameras on the sideline at Westhills Stadium were barely higher up than the dugouts, but an aerial lift would allow a better vantage point for subscribers and result in a better image. There’s logistics to consider with this (any aerial lift on the sideline will block what’s behind it, for instance), but surely each smaller stadium has a position suitable for such a device.
Update: In the Pacific FC vs Valour FC game, commentator Peter Schaad was keen to point out that an existing hydro line prevents an aerial lift from being used at Westhills Stadium. It’ll be interesting to see if venues like Wanderers Grounds or Spruce Meadows have similar issues preventing a higher vantage point.
4) Red Card / Club Colour Indicator
Given that the service was only ready to start subscribing members a day before the inaugural match, it’s not surprising that the visual elements of OneSoccer have been fairly simple. One visual presence that’s missing is a red card indicator for the score display, which would let viewers immediately know if any side is playing with 10 (or less) men. Given that the first two games featured a red card each, it’s already proven that this would be useful content for fans who tune in after the game has already begun.
Another great idea that could be borrowed from the likes of TSN is a club kit colour indicator that lets fans quickly identify which team is wearing what kind of kit design. With each new team having only revealed their home and away kits less than a month ago, it’s a feature that would make the streaming service more newbie-friendly.
5) Capture The Head Coach Post-Match Interview
OneSoccer belatedly uploaded Jim Brennan’s post-match conference after the inaugural Canadian Premier League game, but it was a confusing clip: the video’s audio was straight from a microphone near Jim Brennan, so fans couldn’t actually hear the questions that he was answering. There was no video footage with Forge FC boss Bobby Smyrniotis, with Jim Brennan’s clip just repeating itself halfway through.
Hardcore fans who subscribe to the service will want to hear the questions (and answers) from both head coaches after the game. The streaming service didn’t upload any post-match interviews from Pacific FC vs Halifax Wanderers, prompting uncertainty about if this type of content will be consistently delivered. If it is, it certainly needs some work – but it would make a big difference for the hardcore fans subscribed to OneSoccer.
Bonus Item: Judging by the responses to this article, Chromecast support for the OneSoccer application seems to be another big ticket item that would have a big impact on consumer experience.
These are all subtle improvements that we think would make OneSoccer a much more polished product, and it’s possible some of these improvements could already be on the way. For now, though, it’s a little wishlist of items that will help the league ascertain an even higher degree of professionalism. With the rest of the world (and potential ownership groups within Canada) watching, it’s a more important time than ever to present the league in the best manner possible.
The OneSoccer streaming service currently offers a free one-month trial to potential subscribers around the globe. Once that expires, fans will be offered to subscribe for $9.99 per month, with options for a $74.99 yearly pass (which comes out to $6.25 per month),$5.99 for a 24-hour pass, or an exclusive $49.99 ‘League Pass’ for season ticket holders.