WCSN Jumps To JumpTV In Time For Olympic Launch
By Carolyn Braff With the Olympics just around the corner,
the World Championship Sports Network’s Beijing coverage has kicked
into high gear and, accordingly, the lifestyle and Olympic sports hub
is upgrading its website offerings. WCSN has announced a new partnership
with JumpTV as its web backend, rebuilding WCSN.com as a multi-platform
destination for Olympic sports fans, no matter their home page of choice.
“In today’s environment, everyone’s
creating their own home page,” explains Claude Ruibal, chairman and
CEO of WCSN. “We want to have flexibility so that users can be where
they want to be but at the same time interact with our content. We thought
it’d be great to evolve to a partner that allows us a little more
flexibility in the platform that we want to create.”
JumpTV will allow that flexibility by
integrating with widgets from third-party providers that enable fans
to access WCSN.com content from anywhere. The widgets will allow consumers
to reach WCSN news and receive updates on their own desktop, Facebook
profile or MySpace page, creating a multi-platform solution to community
“We’re really focused on getting
the consumer an opportunity to interact with us, both on our site and
also through a widget on their platform of preference,” Ruibal says.
“Jump’s interest to build out a comprehensive and complex platform
really complemented our focus.”
For the past three years, WCSN has increased
its focus on building communities of fans for the niche sports the network
covers. While kayaking and badminton do not have the following that
Major League Baseball enjoys, those sports certainly carry a core of
passionate fans that is looking for equally passionate supporters to
interact with, so JumpTV will help WCSN create a hub for those communities.
In August of 2005, the upstart WCSN needed
a website – and fast – and MLBAM came to the rescue, building a
video streaming site for the fledgling network in just two weeks. Since
then, however, WCSN has brought in personnel like COO Carlos Silva from
AOL, and the network is evolving into a more complex, comprehensive
lifestyle platform, requiring an equally complex lifestyle website to
go with it.
Still, because WCSN has had such a successful
streaming relationship with MLBAM, Ruibal did not want to close the
door on future partnerships with his former partner.
“We wanted to be careful that we can
still go back to MLB to do streaming around some of our events that
have multiple feeds coming in from far away,” Ruibal says. “I think
Jump is receptive to that. We have the flexibility to go out to the
best providers in cases where we’re under a crunch.”
Track events often constitute such a
crunch, as a single competition can have multiple feeds from multiple
locations coming in simultaneously (a track feed, field feed and marathon
feed, for example). Ruibal feels that having the availability to turn
to an established streaming provider like MLB is an essential resource
for WCSN going forward.
JumpTV’s CRM solution will also include
a broadband video channel, distribution of WCSN content to mobile devices
and the ability to track users’ activities and interests. Ruibal hopes
to have the first phase of the site launched by June 30, in plenty of
time for August’s opening ceremonies in Beijing. More integrated search
capabilities with more complex metadata should implemented by year’s
end and a third phase is scheduled to roll out in early 2009.