PTV, Broadband TV, Online TV... the terms are confusing but all, essentially, refer to the same thing – TV streamed over the Internet. In the sailing world, IPTV (the chosen terminology for this article), has taken off in recent years. From "YouTube-style" amateur clips of sailing events and action, to professional "traditional- style" TV Productions that are broadcast online, sailing has jumped into the IPTV world with both feet, and rightly so.
Sailing doesn't have the mass market appeal of many sports – football (soccer) for example – thus it does not (and cannot) command the airtime mass market sports do. For example: you can almost count on one hand the number of sailing program there are on satellite or terrestrial TV.
The reality is that in the grand scheme of things sailing is a niche sport. As such, the potential TV viewing figures are small, and thus airtime for the sport is minimal. And this is where IPTV has become so valuable to the sport.
There are many online video platforms, the most commonly known being YouTube.com. Not the only one by any means – there are a lot more smaller and niche platforms, and Vimeo.com is becoming a choice for many. However, YouTube reigns in this space, and like most platforms, it is free. (Note: there are some caveats to this, and there are some conditions users have to accept in order to use the free service, but in the majority of cases, these are not an issue).
The beauty of IPTV is simple: it has a large potential reach, it's cost-effective, allows viewing on-demand, and for marketeers it provides accurate statistical analysis of viewers (traffic), unlike traditional broadcasts. To put that into perspective: More than 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute*; and there are more than two billion video views on YouTube every 24 hours.*
In 2011, three Thailand-based entrepreneurs got together and launched Go Yachting, Asia's first IPTV programme. Covering the marine scene in Asia, the program is produced monthly, in English language, and is hosted on the marine portal, www.MarineScene.asia.
Go Yachting is actually the name of the monthly program. In addition to the program, the company provides TV Production Services to clients in the marine industry – regattas, rallies, boat shows, marine events, charter companies, brokerages and much more; essentially, any business in the marine industry, in Asia.
"Our focus is the marine industry. That is our specialty. A big part of the drive to set up Go Yachting was from our event experience. The big professional sailing events in the world have really upped their game in terms of TV production quality, specifically online. And while a number of these events now come to Asia – Extreme Sailing Series, Volvo Ocean Race and the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, for example – our interest was not these events but the numerous amateur events in the region," said Go Yachting co-founder, Duncan Worthington.
"There are so many great events in Asia that don't get the coverage they deserve, so we decided to set-up a dedicated Asia-based team that can produce to international standards using the latest HD cameras and waterproof onboard units, and provide an online platform that can deliver worldwide exposure - and all of this at Asian prices."
Since its launch, Go Yachting has covered a number of the region's regattas and it has a busy 2012 schedule lined up. "In 2011 our initial focus was Thailand- based regattas, filming the Top of the Gulf, Samui, and the Phuket King's Cup, as well as some smaller events.
"So far in 2012 we have filmed the Royal Langkawi International Regatta (Malaysia) – produced daily clips and a post-event Highlights Show, and distribution – The Bay Regatta, and the Phuket International Boat Show. We have a number of other events scheduled and are in discussions with events further afield, but still within our area of focus, Asia."
With regards to regattas, Go Yachting provides a series of options, depending on what the event is looking for. Daily clips at the event, a post-event Highlight Show, media distribution and much more. Production Services are bespoke to the needs of the client. In addition to event TV Production Services, Go Yachting has produced a number of client videos, specifically for charter clients.
"No longer is a website enough for your business, online video is becoming essential, and in the case of marine businesses such as charterers and brokers, there is no better way to show the product to potential customers a-far, then through video.
"A savvy marketeer will see the synergy with social media and the power to share video content easily, and comment, adds to the value of online video for businesses."
MarineScene.asia offers a central portal for Asian-related watersports content. Not only home of the Go Yachting program, the portal hosts a variety of event-specific content, client videos and through a recent partnership with the Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA), a series of kiteboarding videos. "We have three online channels – Go Yachting, Asian Regattas and Kiteboarding. Users can select the content they are looking for. We have been approached to add more channels, and are looking into expanding the channels and services we currently offer."
What sets the Go Yachting team apart is their dedicated team, on staff. "From the start we decided that we didn't want to be another freelance service in the marketplace. We wanted to offer something different, something better. "We listen carefully to a client's needs and work with them closely. We aim to deliver beyond their expectations. Our dedicated team of camera people and editors are experienced in filming on and off-water. We use the latest HD cameras and film Full HD. Whether it is an action-packed regatta, or an off-site interview, we film to the highest production standards."
While Go Yachting are innovating with IPTV, and taking the Asian marine industry's message to the world, Worthington is in discussions with a number of traditional broadcast outlets for airtime.
"When we started out, our goal was solely IPTV. And this remains our focus. However, we have established contacts with international broadcasters and are currently in discussions for airtime.
"If we are successful, we would likely create a new program specifically for broadcast, which could be aired weekly or monthly, while continuing to produce our IPTV channels and programs," added Worthington.
For more information on the serviced offered by Go Yachting, and to view the Go Yachting program and other Asian marine scene videos,