Chivas TV – A Season Later
I’ve been massively intrigued with this project since it was announced before this season and went as far as purchasing the Plan Acceso Total Anual with no guarantee I’d be geo-restricted from viewing any of the content. Thankfully, tunneling through Canada allowed me to watch matches all season long. Below is my assessment of the platform to date and potential improvements I’d like to see in the not-so-distant future.
CEO of Grupo Omnlife-Chivas, Jose Luis Higuera, confirmed that the Chivas TV project will continue to move forward and that it passed a very tough test after successfully streaming the return leg of the liguilla against rival Club America (the Cinepolis Klic issues were Cinepolis crashing under the traffic demands of its subscribers, not Chivas TV’s).
After having used the service throughout the season for friendlies, cup games, and the regular season, I didn’t encounter any stability issues you’ve probably seen complaints about on Twitter (I missed the only real fiasco caused during the Clasico Tapatio where an inside job ruined the broadcast and not a hacker like Higuera first assumed).
Pregame and Postgame
The pregame and postgame content was to be expected but I believe they did a good job. The sneak peeks into the locker room before and after matches were fantastic as one could see the players getting fired up with one of Matias’ pregame speeches or how they decompress after a tough match. Press conferences were a nice touch too as prior to this I had to look for someone’s terribly shot video or poor audio or worse, rely on someone’s retelling of a manager/player’s postgame comments.
I really enjoyed the round-table show they did that featured executives from different streaming platforms and media (Mesa Redonda) but by far the best was the Juglares del Gol series that followed the open casting hopefuls that would eventually win the opportunity to study under Emilio Fernando Alonso and Adan Vega to become Chivas TV commentators. While I loved that series, it’s also one of my negatives which I’ll expand later.
As an added benefit of owning your channel, Chivas was able to live stream the unveiling of the new Puma uniforms as well as the designs for the much-anticipated New Era hats — which I’ve yet to see being sold in the U.S. 😐
I’ll get this one out of the way first because it’s the one that’s been most beaten into the ground. Simply put, for what it offers, Chivas TV is expensive.
I didn’t experience this myself, but the complaints even from users who I know wouldn’t complain for the sake of complaining, made it clear that the underlying infrastructure of the service was inconsistent at best.
Where was the bonus content that was supposed to justify the $10 a month for U.S. subscribers? Outside of the live broadcasts to reveal the uniforms and hats, I don’t believe they offered anything special for us here in the states. The only thing offered directly to the U.S. subscriber base are titled Chivas vs [opponent] – USA and when you click to view it, it’s just 90+ minutes of a camera fixed on the commentators. Who seriously would watch that? I couldn’t tell anyone with a straight face to sign up for this service if they already had a cable package or fubo.tv, it just isn’t worth it.
I mentioned above the Juglares del Gol original series which would broadcast during the pregame of home matches but the individual episodes are nowhere to be found on the site. Instead, they’re only available on Facebook. So, if you wanted to watch each episode, you either needed to scroll through the pregame of several archived matches until you found it or search through the hashtag on Facebook until you hit the full episodes. It’s ridiculous.
For a site that primarily hosts matches, they need to be easily located and should be sorted by date and competition. I shouldn’t have to scroll through a small window 3 times to look for the archived match I want to watch because the latest match auto-scrolled past me.
I’d like to see some improvements to the video player both for live matches and archived ones.
I like what the MLB.tv player does in that it lets you overlay live stats so I’d like to see something like that with not just shots on goal but heat maps and passing charts. I know you have access to advanced stats Chivas!
For archived matches the option to watch condensed matches or highlights should also be available. Each video should have a gamelog for goals, shots on goal, yellow cards, anything noteworthy so that you can click it and go straight to the highlight without having to look at a gamelog and manually scroll to the minute to view it.
I’d also like to see the quality of the archived videos improve from what looks like interlaced 720p video (I can’t tell you exactly what the resolution is but that’s what it looks like). Deinterlace your video! I hate seeing the combing lines when anyone or anything on screen moves.
Deliver Promised Content
Where are the youth matches that were touted as extra content? Where are the behind the scenes videos with the production quality featured in the preseason videos? I’ve seen so many great videos on social media from Chivas accounts but the Chivas TV site — the one with actual paying customers — gets the short end of the stick. We’re simply asking for what was promised here, and it’s mostly content that’s already been sourced. Pay who you need to pay to make them look pretty and upload them to the site.
I know plenty of people have worked hard on this project to get it to where it is today and that’s commendable. Putting aside the venom spewed from just about anyone that covers the sport in Mexico (which was to be expected), there is still a lot of work to be done if this is going to be more than an average product going forward. With other services looking to partner up and purchase rebroadcast rights like Cinepolis, my fear is that the Chivas TV platform will stay mediocre as money pours in from third parties. As naive as it may sound, I truly hope they will continue to work toward delivering a great product and not just one that’s “good enough” to keep costs low.