Kibitzing on Twitch: Watching and Broadcasting Bridge Online
Twitch.tv is one of the most popular platforms for streaming and broadcasting games of all types. Bridge players and fans are catching on, and the number of people logging in to kibitz is on the increase.
We’ve already covered some of the benefits it can have for bridge (and the basics behind how Twitch streaming and watching works) in “Broadcasting Your Game”and “Should Bridge Get the High-Tech Treatment?”, but we thought that it could be time for a more detailed piece while it’s still a hot topic.
Here’s more about Twitch and why bridge broadcasting might just be the next big factor in helping bridge reach new audiences all over the world.
Twitch Interactive (and How We Got There from Justin.tv)
Hey, does anybody remember Justin.tv?
The premise of the website was live webcam broadcasting where other users could tune in to watch. Some people hosted live web shows, others broadcast animal cams of their hamsters going about their day; there were even a few channels broadcasting daily life that made it feel a bit like The Truman Show.
A great concept, Justin.tv might have been a little too diverse in terms of broadcast topics. It turns out that when people can broadcast anything, they will.
Before it turned into Twitch, the darker end of the Justin.tv universe included everything from pirated TV shows streaming 24/7 through to much weirder content.
Now, Twitch is part of Twitch Interactive, a company that was later bought out by (and is still owned by) Amazon. The platform is also estimated to have more than 2 million broadcasters online and streaming.
If you’re looking for a listing of all videos tagged with the word bridge, click on this link to be redirected to the right category. Once you’ve signed up for an account, you can subscribe to individual channels or opt-in to be sent updates for when new content or streams get uploaded.
Some of the streams are live, while others are pre-recorded and uploaded under the “video” section.
Every day, thousands of people are watching sports like rugby, golf, poker, pool and horse racing: it’s about time that bridge broadcasting makes a big comeback.
What You’ll Find on Twitch
Thanks to the ease of screen capture with a simple app (or directly through the Twitch platform), online bridge games are easy to record and share with the rest of the world. An increasing number of recorded Bridge Base Online games are being uploaded to Twitch – and many more are starting to broadcast live.
It’s not limited to online play. Physical clubs can also stream their content: just point a camera at the bridge table and you’re all set. (A great example of such a video was uploaded by user bridgeclubkiev.)
A Strong Argument for Streaming Bridge
Bridge deserves to be streamed – and most certainly to be watched!
- Streaming bridge is a big step towards seeing televised and broadcast bridge becoming just as big as the WSOP.
- Having bridge alongside streaming channels for other games like World of Warcraft can help to bring the game to entirely new players.
- Platforms like Twitch can give clubs and events the benefit of having their games broadcast without the costs of having to approach a traditional news or TV station to make it happen.
- Many streaming platforms offer the option of donations to broadcasters, which can serve as an additional income for smaller bridge clubs who broadcast.
- Would more people play if more people watched?
Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels