Surround the live stream with on-demand content

Last night was our last live basketball game of the winter. It was a highly anticipated rematch of a regular season game that we streamed between undefeated New London, ranked number two in the state, and number nine Ledyard. There was plenty of hype preceding the game, especially because two of Ledyard’s coaches and three of their players are former New London Whalers. That hype brings natural publicity, but since live streaming video is still a relatively new venture for a small newspaper, we want to make sure as much of our potential audience as possible knows about the webcast, and that people are familiar with some of the characters involved.

To that end, the video open (above) that we use at the start of the game also serves as a promo. It was voiced by play-by-play announcer Casey O’Neill and edited from clips of three of our earlier webcasts. Because Casey has a day job, assistant sports editor Mike DiMauro writes the text for the open, I edit it and forward it to Casey, who records the voice over on his phone and then emails it back to me. Not the highest quality solution, but it’s the most efficient thing we can manage with people at three different locations working different schedules with no studio to use as a home base.

Usually we include video features in our pregame and halftime shows, but we wouldn’t have time to produce feature for the final. The finalists were determined on Wednesday evening, and I would have to get everything ready for the webcast by 2pm Friday at the latest. We rolled the dice and assumed New London would make the final, and Casey and I recorded an interview with coach Craig Parker and senior Collin Sawyer. Our plan was to record a similar interview on Thursday with a coach and player from the winner of Wednesday’s second semifinal. Since the weather forecast for Thursday was looking bad, we recorded the second interview with Ledyard coach Dave Cornish and senior Phyllip Thomas in the gym immediately after the Wednesday games. We posted the full interviews the night before the game and used a shorter edit of each in the pregame show.

The game lived up to the hype, and we posted the full replay and an edited highlight video immediately after.

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