Rangers' game against Kilmarnock being broadcast live on Periscope appears to have caught the imagination of a few people in the press, and why not. It seems an obvious point, but it hammered home how weird and ethereal the TV-watching experience of football is, with the dodgy Periscope stream being, in its way, far more like actually being at the game.
Could it catch on? How did it happen? We tracked down @gersmandan, one of the principal Periscopers, to find out.
GTBFO: Firstly, congratulations. Your MBE is in the post. Did you plan this or was it a spur-of-the-moment thing?
Gersmandan: I didn't plan it. Earlier today I read some folk suggesting someone should do it, but thought no more of it. During a stoppage in the game I checked Twitter, saw Shane saying someone else had been streaming it but stopped, so I thought why not try it, since I had a good vantage point from my seat.
GTBFO: Were you surprised by how many people started watching it (well over 30,000 across all of the streams)?
Gersmandan: I was glancing at the screen occasionally and it seemed to be going nuts with notifications, but I was trying to concentrate on watching the match myself! I'm not sure how many tuned in overall...I was only streaming for 20 mins until half time, which was enough to almost kill the battery.
GTBFO: Do you think this could catch on? Of course, Rangers have RangersTV, but not every club has that. And it's a wee bit of a different experience, too...
Gersmandan: Not sure how much it'll catch on, I replayed some of it back when I got home and the action in the opposite half of the pitch is hard to discern. A phone camera will never come close to proper equipment. Plus with battery limitations one person can only stream for so long. [Ed: The camerawork was actually of a surprisingly high standard on one of the later streams, with zooming and panning for effect and a middle finger raised to the home fans after the last-minute winner, which we thought was a nice touch.] Rugby Park was good for being able to get a strong signal but at lots of other grounds that won't be the case. Certainly not at Ibrox (no comment on our old board's WiFi system!)
GTBFO: Any plans to continue in your new career as a broadcaster? We'll happily set up a Kickstarter for you to outbid Sky and BT for the SPFL rights.
Gersmandan: Yeah I'd do it again for sure. I don't get to many away games but after tonight I might ask my lovely wife for permission to get to a few more! Sky and BT are stiff competition but I'd fancy my chances against SPLTV!
So, there you have it. The future is here.
This periscoped Rangers game feels like a turning point, feels like how I imagine the Berlin wall coming down did.— StanisLAD Tolkachev (@dunnotbhlad) February 16, 2016