Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567

No BBC? Watch for free!
KC counters BBC withdrawal with live internet broadcasts

Crufts TVThe Kennel Club this week announced that we will be able to see the action from Crufts 2009 after all, much to the relief of many dog lovers and exhibitors from around the world.

A brand new live webcast will be available to millions of internet users and will follow all of the events in the Arena programme, from Heelwork to Music and Agility to the Best in Group and Best in Show judging and the ever popular Friends for Life competition that rewards our canine heroes. Coverage will also include a new element to the Arena programme where the winners of the We Love Our Dogs competition – which invited all dog owners to send in video clips and photographs of their happy, healthy dogs – will be announced.

The production company responsible is Sunset+Vine, the leading independent supplier of sports programming to broadcasters in the UK. It is also a world leader in international advertiser funded programming, producing over 2000 hours annually. Sunset + Vine’s main UK production
contracts include Five’s cricket coverage, the BBC’s horseracing, Five’s through-the-night sport, live international football and the Tour de France for ITV.

Web stream

In a development seen to be successful for shows like Westminster in the States, Peter Purves and Frank Kane will provide commentary for the live web stream, which will be interspersed with features showing the interviews and action from outside the Arena. This will be the first time in history that Crufts has been shown in this way, and the KC hopes that it will go some way to help people access the show from their armchairs, laptops and computers across the globe.

Caroline Kisko told us: ‘Dogs and their owners look forward to Crufts every year and this live webcast will enable people, wherever they are in the world, to continue to watch the show and
celebrate with us the diverse role that dogs play in society. This year’s webcast will allow
audiences to feel like they have a seat in the Arena, as they view the wide range of events and
competitions from the shows, classes and agility displays, to Friends for Life which celebrates our dog heroes.

‘We are proud of Crufts and are pleased to go online this year because, although the show will no longer be on the BBC, we know that it is the world’s best platform to bring together those organisations and individuals who care about dogs, so we can continue to make a positive difference to dogs’ lives. We have the continued support of many high profile veterinary organisations and dog welfare charities and want to ensure that we continue to engage the support of those dog lovers who are unable to get to the show.

‘There are many other wonderful elements to Crufts outside of the Arena, which enable people to
discover more about dogs and what is being done, and what they can do, to help continually improve the health and welfare of dogs. We will cover as much of this action as possible through the webcast but people will really need to come along to the event in order to benefit from the whole Crufts experience and to help us to make a difference for dogs. We are especially pleased to bring to the internet the complete broadcast of the Obedience competition through our catch-up service. Only through the internet are we able to broadcast this internationally popular competition.’

Running commentary

As well as footage from the main events, the KC is also working with Viewpress, a company which has a long history with Crufts, as they hold the TV archives for the last 15 years. Viewpress, again a company with a long history of recording sporting events, are also responsible for providing the big screens in each hall at Crufts, which they will do again this year.

A KC spokesperson told us: ‘Viewpress will be providing additional content. However, there are limits on what we can produce and so will be focusing mainly on snippets from trade stands, some judging, interviews with winners, focus mainly though is on the health stand. These will be cut into the programme broadcast.’

Peter Purves, who will provide some of the commentary for the online webcast, said: ‘Crufts is one of my favourite times in the year and 2009 will be an exciting show. There are 28,000 dogs participating with the third highest competitive entry in the show’s long history and a diverse programme that celebrates all that we love about dogs.

‘I’m really pleased that the Kennel Club has decided to take the show online, enabling the thousands of dog lovers who look forward to Crufts every year to see a slice of the action. It also shows the world what all of those who love the event know to be true; that it is a big-hearted and fun celebration of happy, healthy dogs and everybody is invited to join in.’

The news about the live webcast comes after the Kennel Club announced that Crufts FM will broadcast live on 106.8FM from Wednesday 4th March, until 10pm on Sunday 8th March within a 5km radius of the NEC, Birmingham. This means that those driving to the NEC will be able to listen to the latest news from the event. Those who are a bit further away from the action will be able to listen to Crufts FM via the web on the Crufts website:

The Crufts live web stream will be available throughout the four days of Crufts, from the 5th-8th March and will run from 8.30 in the morning through to the end of the Arena programme. The Crufts TV live stream will be free to view anywhere in the world by simply following the link on the Crufts homepage. For those who miss the action there will also be a catch-up video on demand service for paying subscribers, enabling people to watch the replays of the action.

There is a live stream for each day of the event. This will be free during the live broadcast. Overnight, this will then be loaded onto a pay-per-view service where users can pay £1.99 for a day viewing or £9.99 for complete access to all programmes as they come online. The service will probably end on 31st March, but that is yet to be confirmed.

Asked if it would be business as usual with the BBC for Crufts 2010, the KC has confirmed that it has made a mutual agreement to terminate its contract with the BBC, but declined to comment further at this stage.

OUR DOGS COMMENTS: The Kennel Club is to be congratulated for harnessing all the power of new media. Many of the general public will still be unaware of the BBC’s actions and will be disappointed that they will not be able to see this national institution on terrestrial TV. However, the steps announced at least give people the opportunity to have a new perspective on this
highly popular event.

Perhaps this screening may entice further interest from television companies for future shows.

Send your opinion of this story below
(All opinion is fully moderated. Your comment will be uploaded once it has been moderated.)

Join our message board and start a discussion about this story

Woo-Hoo! That IS good news

Jasbri Whippets