Live Web broadcasts of Woods press conference challenge major television networks

23 02 2010

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Regardless of your opinion of Tiger Woods’ widely publicized marital indiscretions, it’s impossible to deny the Web’s significant role in generating conversation surrounding public controversy. The latest in Woods’ dramatic saga comes after Friday’s press conference in which the golfer made his first public statement since the eruption of scandal back in November 2009.

The press conference was broadcast live on all major television networks, but it was the online sector that enjoyed an extensive audience.

Mashable reported:

“We thought the event might be huge given the interest in the Woods scandal and the fact that the event took place during the U.S. work day.”

Ustream hosted a live broadcast of Woods’ statement that echoed the powerful results that Mashable predicted. Ustream, a CBS News partner, drew over 683,000 viewers during the press conference. Ustream’s popularity draws from its easy accessibility for those in the workplace at the time of the 11 a.m. ET broadcast, leaving only the option of Internet viewing.

The site’s interactive and social media features generate additional page hits.  The Social Stream feature allows users to chat with people across the world over Twitter, providing a constant newsfeed. Ustream viewers were able to watch Woods’ statement while reading viewer’s comments and opinions in real time.

Users can opt to follow live updates by connecting to Ustream’s Twitter and Facebook pages. Mashable reported user contributions totaling 3,300 updates to the Social Stream and 93,000 tweets about the conference within the first hour. Viewer feedback through Twitter and the Social Stream was unfiltered and represented a wide range of opinions, both accepting and critical of Woods’ statement.

Livestream, Hulu and YouTube are other popular sources that streamed the press conference live. Mashable reported a total of millions of live viewers on Web sites alone.

Web sites like Ustream will continue to increase popularity of live broadcasts through social media integration. As society continues to migrate toward online news sources, the combination of live video streaming and social media will generate buzz about major media events in unprecedented ways.

By Ashley Dischinger




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