It seems to be the mantra for FIH president Batra in all of his endeavours: overpromising and underdelivering!

We’ve seen it with the HIL (or Hockey India League) which was a great event, to the credit of Batra, but it did not last and has been cancelled after merely 5 seasons.

We’ve seen it with his FIH Pro League. Where he promised helping athletes live and make money as full time professionals. However we’ve seen most of international players having to double their time invested without any rise in income so far.

And it’s the same for FIH.live so it seems. The platform and app were announced during his FIH congress in November 2018 and launched in January of 2019.Overpromising and underdelivering

As you can read in my column following the announcement of FIH.live entitled “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” I was enthusiastic though somewhat sceptical from the start. Today we’re 6 months down the road and we have not seen any added value from the new platform yet. So I guess I was right in being sceptical, but maybe that’s just me…

What FIH.live was meant to be…

Watch the 20 minute video below where FIH.live is introduced by Andy Oram, director broadcasting at the time for FIH:

Our athletes is why we’re here

The very first goal stated for the new FIH.live platform was “Athletes first”. Creating superstars, allowing our top players to be the ambassadors for our sport… Have you seen anything towards this in FIH.live? I haven’t, but maybe that’s just me…

Consolidate data

Another important goal for the new tool was to help consolidate data about viewers and games and all data that matters to either those in sports or those in marketing. Difficult to judge if this promise has been met or is being met from the outside. I doubt it, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt on this one…

Build the community

FIH claims the new app would help build our community from the bottom up. Helping to connect players, coaches, friends and fans… Again it could be they’re collecting useful data on our hockey family through FIH.live already but have we seen any value from it to help build our community as fans, friends, coaches and players? I haven’t, but maybe that’s just me…

Broadcasting app

FIH promised us an easy to use app for all of our smartphones. So within 5 minutes from downloading the app we would be streaming our local club games on the platform, sharing our hockey with the world. The app however is nowhere to be found even 6 months after launch. Well, I couldn’t find it, but maybe that’s just me…

Automatic video analysis and AI capabilities

FIH boasted AI and automated video tagging in their presentation. Let’s say we believe the AI options shown were just there to be able to use this buzz word. In order to come of as forward thinking and we should not naively conclude from this it would be ready to use already. However the automated video analysis was presented as a tool ready to use as of the launch. Have you found it? I haven’t, but maybe that’s just me…

Archives

FIH boasted to have 26.000 hours of video archive from games of the past. These were to be uploaded before launch for our enjoyment but also for AI guided comparisons between for example games in the seventies and modern day hockey… Have you seen it? I haven’t, but maybe that’s just me…

Social

The app and platform would help us promote the game on all social media. First for the athletes… FIH claims they would send clips from memorable moments automatically to the involved athletes to share this content on their social media and make some noise for the betterment of our sport.

Secondly for fans. Fan engagement would be triggered with live chat options during live games and all kinds of possibilities to share what you thought was worth sharing through your channels. Have you been able to do it? I haven’t, but maybe that’s just me…

Custom user interfaces

Fans living in for example Australia would not be bothered by irrelevant content from elsewhere and would have all Australian hockey front and center in their user interface. Local games and competitions and their own national team efforts from all over the world. Did you get this tailored, personalised and relevant screen? I haven’t, but maybe that’s just me…

Geoblocking and the broadcasting partners

Obviously the FIH is still reliant on income from their media partners, broadcasters mainly. That means geoblocking certain content is inevitable. I get that, that makes sense even if I do not like it, nor think it should be necessary. However if FIH can not manage better deals with broadcasters the game will still suffer from an outdated model. Today there are still countries who are geoblocked, even when games are not shown live by local broadcasters. Because for example some of these old-fashioned broadcasters claim showing a game within 24 hours of it being played is considered live. Do you think this makes sense? I don’t, but maybe that’s just me…

What has FIH.live really been so far…

So, what have we seen from FIH.live since its launch in January of 2019?

Frankly an outdated platform on the www with some categories of the most recent big events where we can watch games in poor quality. At best you get a 720 quality instead of regular HD which would be 1080. But for many among us the streaming quality often is stuck on 240 which is like being back in the early days of video on internet.

Has it been an improvement on what the regular YouTube channel provides us with? No! It’s seems of a lesser quality so far… None of the announced extra’s and interactive gimmicks are live yet. So far FIH.live has been a big disappointment for us fans from around the world. FIH.live looks like yet another case of overpromising and underdelivering, typical for the Batra administration so far.

We can only hope FIH manages to turn this around ASAP. If not, I fear it’s been money down the drain and only MyCujoo, the company behind this platform got a little bit better of it all. Their platform is capable of it. I do not doubt that. Today 2nd division Danish football clubs are already better served compared to our global community of hockey with interactive timelines, highlights, stats and shareable content.

Maybe I’m impatient. In that case… sorry. I’m getting frustrated by all of this overpromising and underdelivering, but maybe that’s just me… ;)