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Predictions: You Will Use Facebook To Watch Pro Surfing

And they’ll be watching you… and reading your emotions and using them against you. Always and forever

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Many of us are involved in social media. Many of us are not. Facebook especially seems to trigger dark thoughts in some members of the surfing community, that is if comment board responses to the recent news of WSL’s and Facebook’s new alignment mean anything.

“That’s me done!” “Having no part in this!” “F**k this shit, I’m out!” Etc. The general tone being, if we the People have to be on Facebook to watch the WSL Championship Tour, then we the People are off it.

Look, can I tell you, this reminds me of my three year old nephew. My nephew is renowned for his fear of goats. But he is always trying to overcome it. Recently I heard him tell his Mum, in this very serious and hopeful tone: “Mum, I think I like goats now.”

“No you don’t,” his Mum said. Complete certainty. Didn’t even look at him.

US Variety magazine reported the WSL as saying there was $30 million at play in the two year exclusive broadcast deal they’ve signed with Facebook. That may be a super optimal figure, based on projections or whatever.

But Facebook is on a sporting binge right now. It wants to be the big winner in entertainment streaming, and it’s identified sport as being the best way in. So has Amazon. So have a number of others, including ex-network tv people who’re trying to cross the bridge into the brave new world of the Internet.

This has created a bidding war over sports of all varieties, from the NFL and Premier League soccer on down.

It’s like the good old days of cable tv start-ups, when pretty much all you needed to get a tv show on your sport was a banner and two people willing to make fools of themselves beneath it.

But in the case of WSL and Facey, it’s not quite like that, because Facey has trialled pro surfing. All last year, CTs streamed on its platform at the same time as they did on the WSL’s site and app.

This means Facebook has a year of data to support its decision to go into business with the WSL. And the WSL doesn’t have to sweat on trying to make a living off pay-per-view.

None of this is disappearing overnight.

Which leaves hard core surfers in a bind. No matter what we say about judging, shit surf and whatever, we’re hooked on this shit. Unlike my nephew, we DO like goats, and we want to watch ‘em. We may be the only ones who do.

If that means joining Facebook, I’m gonna say it with my sister’s certainty: Yeah we will.

Nick Carroll