Finals LIVE

In front of the crowd in Atlanta at the Southeastern Regional, Drum Corps International announced that they will be broadcasting Finals live on the Fan Network - $69, or $49 for Fan Network subscribers. I know they've already been met with criticism - one needs look no further than their Facebook page or their Twitter mentions to find it - but I think it's a great idea.

First of all, when they started teasing a "big announcement" yesterday, I hoped they weren't myopic enough to know that if they're going to build this much hype, it ought to be about the flagship brand and not about Drumline Battle or SoundSport which, while strong in their own right, probably feel forced down our throats by most drum corps fans. I was pleased to hear that their announcement was indeed about DCI proper.

The primary criticism that I've seen has been about the price point. Indeed, one can get decent seats in Lucas Oil Stadium for less than the cost, at least for the non-subscribers. That is part of the brilliance here. Other than the infrastructure to pull off a broadcast of this magnitude, I'm guessing that DCI's primary concern here was the potential of disincentivizing Finals attendance. This cost ensures that it doesn't do that - those for whom Finals is within reasonable travel can and hopefully will still attend - but it allows for those who can't make the trip to still see Finals live. Someone else compared the cost to that of the DVDs, pointing out that with them, you can watch an unlimited number of times. And while that may be true, no one wants to watch the Super Bowl on tape delay when they can see it live. As with sports, there's nothing like watching in real time.

To me, this isn't a hard sell at all. Even if the cost seems a bit high, you get some of your corps-loving friends together, split the cost, and make a party of it. DCI Finals live on a big screen TV when you can't be there live? Makes perfect sense to me.