Crufts may have been denied BBC coverage this year, but its own, last-minute online broadcasting effort drew over 150,000 viewers all the same, says the production company behind the venture.
The Kennel Club was yanked from the Beeb after an investigation claimed it endorses the inheritance of genetic diseases in show dogs, but tapped Sunset + Vine to do both live streaming and VOD on its own Cruftslive.tv site between Mar 5 and 8. The producer tells Broadcast the week-long contest saw 146,332 live stream users and 4,000 buyers for its premium VOD package, costing £1.99 per day or £9.99 for a month’s access.
The figures show that it is possible to pull in a loyal audience, but the relatively few paying subscribers suggests the KC didn’t recoup as much as it would have made from sponsorships if Crufts were still carried on the BBC.
Simultaneous users peaked at 51,147 for the big Sunday final, with an average view time of one hour and 42 minutes. Sunset says it plans to improve Cruftslive.tv for next year, but the KC will likely rather the BBC decides in its favour as it deliberates over whether to reinstate the competition on TV next time.