Here in the UK, we still have February, March and April to get through until our airshow season gets underway. However, in other parts of the world, the 2010 season is already getting going. One of the first big shows of the year is the Al Ain Aerobatics Show in the United Arab Emirates. Al Ain in January is a superb venue for an airshow with warm blue skies and the dramatic desert backdrop.
For 2009 and 2010 Al Ain has hosted the AERO GP, an “air-racing” style event organised by Flying Aces who also has an internet broadcasting arm, airsports.tv. For the last two days of the Al Ain Aerobatics Show, airsports.tv has broadcast live footage from the flying displays and AERO GP on it’s website. The Al Ain Aerobatics Show is very much a global airshow bringing the very best acts together from around the world. This year acts came from Croatia, France, Italy, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK, the USA as well as the UAE. While the show does bring in a healthy number of tourists, the live internet coverage gives the show a true global audience.
The footage coming out of Al Ain has been spectucular, though was regular interrupted by adverts for show sponsors and even clips from the 2009 event (infact, I even saw myself in the footage! – Ed) as the footage was also being shown on big screens at the event. However, Airsports.tv’s footage gave a really good feel to this unique event. But why doesn’t such footage appear from UK shows? After all, internet streaming has started to become a popular feature of american airshows and major sporting events.
The cost of setting up the broadcast are perhaps prohibitive; as well as all the camera crews, live production suites and associated facilities are also required. Video footage is professionally captured at many airshows by the likes of Planes TV, but is rarely broadcast live as it’s taken back to their offices to be edited. However, live internet streaming could have some major benefits for some of the UK shows.
The Al Ain show is an important part of Abu Dhabi’s tourist strategy which cites major events such an airshows and Formula 1 motor-racing as vital attractions. In the UK, we also have airshows which are held in support of tourism, namely the big seaside events such as Sunderland, Eastbourne and Bournemouth. Could internet streaming help them? Well yes! Event’s like Bournemouth see themselves growing into international attractions bringing in visitors from Europe for their shows and internet broadcasting would be an ideal platform to promote the event and the town/resort. However, if internet broadcasting is to take off at UK shows, it’s possibly only ever going to happen with some large sponsorship which is unlikely in the current economic climate.
In the meantime, enjoy some of the higlights from Airsports.tv’s coverage of Al Ain 2010:-