Some fans have no idea about the YouTube World Curling games
At both the men’s and women’s world championships, social media posts were plagued by comment spam. Spammers have posted links to sites promising online coverage of the tournament.
We’ve posted a disclaimer about these links and comments, and while most internet users will recognize them as suspicious right away, only a few unsuspecting victims need to crack to make it worth the scammers’ time.
The spam wave seemed to ease slightly for the Women’s World Championship, unless the page moderators were so diligent that I didn’t notice them as much.
It remains to be seen whether spammers show up for the Mixed Doubles World Championship, starting Monday.
What I really want to know is this: how can these spammers think their traps would succeed, when curling fans have been enjoying the best coverage in the world online for several years now?
I guess there are people out there – a lot of them from Canada – who still don’t know that the World Curling Federation is showing a game or two in every world championship draw, online. , free of charge (subject to COVID-19 test results, of course).
Maybe these fans are used to the availability of curling on traditional cable TV, or maybe they just don’t believe online shows live up to a cable channel. But you have to know: this coverage is high quality, free, easily accessible and super easy to watch on your living room TV.
Maybe it’s time for WCF to announce this coverage directly to Canadians, right?
Today’s coverage of the world championships is a mix of old and new. There are still traditional TV offerings in every country, but these are supplemented by online streaming.
The games are featured on WCF’s YouTube page, named specifically for the organization’s broadcast arm, World Curling Television (WCTV). The viewing experience is as easy as pie in that it’s free, although some games with a nationwide TV broadcast deal are blocked in some countries.
For example, viewers in Canada cannot see the games on YouTube broadcast on TSN. So, Canadians watch and listen to Vic, Cheryl and Russ, while viewers from other countries watch the same game on YouTube with different commentators and graphics.
On every YouTube game page, you can comment and chat with other viewers around the world. If you venture into the live chat area, you will not only see all kinds of in-game commentary displayed, but you will also get many different languages and perspectives. You might even see some users trying to ask for help with illegal streaming sites (true story, although I hope this isn’t the scam site I mentioned above).
The live chat is refereed by moderators who keep things civil. Be prepared to complain about the reasons why some games are released instead of others. You can also keep an eye out for celebrity appearances; I’ve seen Chelsea Carey compete in the men’s world championships, as well as Norwegian curler (and WCTV commentator) Sander Rolvag.
When some people hear “live streaming” they may think of it as the equivalent of a curler pointing their phone’s camera at the game and letting it run on their team’s Facebook page. Throw that idea out of your head… it’s 2021 now. The quality of these shows is literally the same as you would expect on TV. The only thing I would like them to improve is to have the dashboard on screen more often.
Finally, it’s easy to watch it on the big screen in your living room. Do you have a Smart TV, a streaming box (Apple TV, Firestick, Roku) or a game console (Xbox or PlayStation)? All of them have a YouTube app. Turn it on, search for World Curling TV and sit back and enjoy the action.
If you need help getting it started, watch a YouTube video. People post all kinds of how-to videos. Recently, I learned how to make perfectly clear ice for my cocktails. In May 2020, I accepted a #CurlersWhoCook challenge and made a very different type of pizza.
For the world mixed doubles, Japan will receive – unsurprisingly – the most extensive coverage of the pre-qualifiers. Canada covered six round robin matches, RCF has four, one group receives two and a larger group has one.
Go back to those scam links I mentioned at the top. What happens if you actually click on it? Do you have the option to watch a live broadcast of the game?
Don’t try this at home, folks. While fully aware that the links would likely take me to a shady website with a lot of popups and malware, I chose to go for it.
During the Worlds of Men I found an old laptop and did a factory reset which allowed me to click on these links so you don’t have to.
The result? The first click took me to a page that simply said “2021 World Men’s Curling Championship Live Online” with a button prompting me to “click here”. By clicking on it, I went to another site that prompted me to sign up for “Watch Free Now!”
I looked closely and noticed that all references to a world curling championship were missing on the page. This is because there are many different scams in different sports and shows, all leading to this page.
At this point I put in a disposable email address to sign up and click again … the next page told me I needed my credit card number to ‘confirm’ my location. They noted that my card would NOT be charged; it was for information only. They swore pinky.
This is where my adventure ends, because while I can create a fake email account, I cannot do it for a credit card. Also, we all know it’s a one way road to identity theft city.