Below is the second part of the interview with live-streaming stars Gerri Viant and Mark Fischl.
6. What is the best thing that Mark does (to Gerri)… how about the best thing that Gerri does (to Mark)?
Gerri Viant (GV): There’s so many great things that he does! Mark has a remarkable ability to give detailed accounts of head to head results, tournaments won, a recollection of break point opportunities of matches played years ago, and personal background stories on the players. There’s a comfort level having all that knowledge right next to me that frees me up to be able to focus in on the technical, tactical and strategies of the matches. I loved getting to know him.
Mark Fischl (MF): Does hitting me count? If not, then I have to say her ability to communicate what the players are feeling on the court, and what the players should be doing on the court, are her strengths.
7. Where do you see live streaming going in the long term?
GV: The feedback has been positive, it’s a fabulous vehicle to promote the game. With a solid circuit of tournaments and promotion through the media the game will gain momentum and become attractive to sponsorship. Right now there is a market for live streaming within our own paddle community. We need to grow that base and expand it outside of the general paddle world to attract sponsorship, and attract sports channels like the Tennis channel and ESPN. Getting them involved would be another step and I would love to see that eventuate.
MF: Hopefully the APTA is going to find sponsors for the live streaming that are going to help us grow the game. I also love that we are capturing these amazing athletes pulling off these astonishing shots for the league player to see. For years I have been frustrated in my attempts to describe the play to friends who weren’t there to witness the Parsons backhand or an Arraya slash that bounces back over the net and lands on his service line! Now I get to describe it as they are watching.
8. Who is your favorite announcer?
GV: Martina Navratilova and Darren Cahill, he’s also from my home town Adelaide!
MF: My favorite announcer is Johnny Miller. Probably not surprising to those of you that know me. He is exceptionally knowledgeable and equally blunt. He has offended many players, but is always informative and interesting to listen to.
9. If there is anything else that you would like to add please do it here:
GV: It is thrilling to be involved at the grass roots level of probably the biggest opportunity to promote and expose the game since I first started playing. The APTA should be proud of taking this step and having the vision and foresight to move the game forward with live streaming. On a personal note I am having a blast commentating and meeting more and more people who are excited about the game. It’s a lifestyle.
MF: It has been awesome to hear the feedback as we have traveled around the Country. I have had several players tell me how much they learned listening to Gerri and me commentate on their match. I would also like to thank both Jim McCready and John Noble who have been invaluable in their feedback. Both are tremendous volunteers for the APTA in developing and improving the live streaming. One of my favorite things to do when I am watching live sports is to catch the flow of the match or game. It is an amazing thing to watch when the momentum swings. Sometimes you pick it up and sometimes you don’t. I love communicating that to the audience.