Table Tennis Tidbits #43

By Robert Ho | Feb. 18, 2019, 8:12 a.m. (ET)

Frank Ji

 

TABLE TENNIS TIDBITS # 43   By Robert Ho  1-20-19


Seamaster:  Table Tennis SEE-Master


Beginning sometime in 2018, a Chinese “shipping company”, Seamaster, was retained by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) to promote the sport of table tennis.  The apparent intent was to invite greater world awareness of the sport and advance its rewards, financial and otherwise.


This article deals with changes in the availability of World Tour matches of an American fan.  The labels AS (Ante or before Seamaster), and PS (Post or after Seamaster) will be used throughout the article to distinguish a fan’s experience in viewing matches before and after Seamaster’s administration of ITTF events.


Viewable matches on the World Tour:

AS: from the quarterfinal onward; sometimes even qualifying rounds, usually viewable on the day the matches were played and thereafter.

PS: maybe from the quarters onward but nothing earlier.  A picture of featured players in a semi or final match video might be shown but the viewer might then encounter in white letters on a black background: “The connection to the server was interrupted due to existing TV rights.  It is not possible to broadcast this stream in your country.  Please visit http://www.ittf.com/tour.watch/  Upon clicking onto this address, one is returned to the picture of the players of the match one was seeking completing a vicious circle.


Commercial advertising:

AS:  little or none.

PS:  often precedes matches that are shown and are not necessarily relevant to table tennis.


Extent of matches shown:

AS:  Usually complete matches, including between games coaching.

PS:  Sometimes complete matches, but often sped up matches, skipping points; no between games coaching; commentary during games is interrupted and incomplete.


“Nuff said”.  Whether or not the ITTF renews its 2 year contract with Seamaster will say a lot about the how the ITTF views the importance of its American audience, among others.  Of course if the ITTF wants to ship something, ….!