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Softball Kingdom brings live TV to the Dudley

  

By Wally Shaver

 

It all started last year. After hitting a monstrous home run at the Major Division Worlds at the Disney Sports complex in Florida, the video of Scott Kirby’s blast was posted on YouTube and interestingly drew more than 30,000 viewings.

That got him thinking. If that many people were watching that one hit, there must be plenty of softball fans wanting to see more. Problem is, this isn’t major league baseball where every game is televised, allowing for ample video highlights. So, why not find a way to produce video of top softball games for all the world to see? Softball Kingdom was born and launched as the most comprehensive softball website anywhere. 

In addition to a plethora of softball info, the Kingdom produces live video productions of major softball tournaments. Under a licensing deal with the USSSA, Softball Kingdom will cover the live action of 16 of the 22 conference USSSA Major division tournaments, including one of the top tourneys in the country, the Dudley/Budweiser Classic. 

Generally speaking, winners bracket games are televised and streamed live on the Softball Kingdom website, softballkingdom.com. A production crew of 10-12 people and a three-camera shoot provide a polished look. The games are archived and available as a video on-demand type of service. Membership fees are nominal: $10 a month for as many viewings as you can fit in or $75 per year. Each of the 16 tournament championship games is available free.

“This is our first year and the response has been great,” said co-owner Tim Kirby from his headquarters in the Florida panhandle city of Destin. “We’ve been able to fill a niche. There really hasn’t been anything like this before for softball players. We feel a lot of people know some of the big names in Major softball, but now people can become familiar with a lot more.”

“Our main focus with USSSA, is to help grow the game. The major division of softball has had some declining numbers in recent years. We want to help revitalize the game and make it more mainstream. Softball fans know the games are action packed from start to finish and we just need to get more exposure. We can go to a tournament and provide video feeds of from eight to 12 games,” added Kirby.

This sounds like softball paradise. What network or cable television can’t deliver, the internet offers a platform for entrepreneurs to make it happen. “Revenues are driven by membership but overall, it hasn’t been a key concern to this point as we work out the details. We’re just getting started on the advertising possibilities and have a variety of options available,” commented Kirby. 

So, if you can’t make it in person to the Dudley Classic, one of America’s premier softball tournaments, you can catch the action live on your computer. And, if you just want to relive action at some other time for sheer enjoyment, you have that option as well. This is even better than broadcast TV.