Netcast Sports Network Partners with Spalk and Invades Brazil on the Same Day
It’s no secret that the media landscape, particularly in relation to traditional broadcast programming, is undergoing seismic change. While major networks are battling to fend off Netflix, sports broadcast networks such as ESPN have seen major drops in subscribers as more viewers opt out of cable in favor of ‘cord cutting’.
One of the smaller startup players in the sports broadcasting arena is NetCast Sports Network, a regional live streaming broadcaster that has focused on delivery to web and mobile devices. NCSN is one of a handful of such services, and offers fans something they can’t get from the larger networks: diversity and options without cable. While the big, ‘name’ sports continue to be bid on by the existing cable networks, smaller broadcasters have stayed away from those bidding wars for the most part.
Today, NCSN has announced a new wrinkle: multiple language broadcasts. By partnering with commentary crowdsourcing platform Spalk, NCSN is adding more play-by-play feeds in languages other than English.
“Our first additional language will be Portuguese, ” says Marcus Shockley, the Executive Director of NetCast Sports Network. “Our current plan is also add Spanish and French as quickly as possible. While we do plan to continue to grow our US viewership, we want to actively branch out into international fan bases as well. ”
The decision to add Portuguese, not Spanish, might seem a bit unusual at first, but Shockley said that adding Brazil’s fan base was a bit of an homage to ESPN’s first international foray with a country-specific channel, ESPN Brasil.
NetCast Sports has always been selective about what they will broadcast, and that has caused them to turn down some business along the way. “We’re not really a for-hire broadcast service,” says Shockley, “We’re looking for good content that makes sense for fans. We’re a startup, so we can experiment with what we broadcast, but ultimately our goal is bringing great content to everyone no matter how they consume it — Roku, Android, iPhone, web, Cast. This move to adding more languages also allows us greater reach to fan bases who may not have been able to enjoy the games as much as they could.”
NCSN is already slated for a higher number of broadcasts in 2018 than last year — they will be the official broadcast partner for the semi pro East Coast Basketball League and will broadcast the US Prep National Championships in March. The network has not decided which of those upcoming broadcasts may be multi-language but they are under consideration.