During the men’s and women’s world championships, social media posts were plagued by comment spam. The spammers posted links to sites promising online coverage of the tournament.
We published a warning about those links and comments , and while most internet users would recognize these as suspicious right away, only a few unsuspecting victims need to fall for it to make it worth the scammers’ time.
The wave of spam seemed to drop slightly for the women’s world championship, unless page moderators were so diligent that I didn’t notice them as much.
It remains to be seen if the spammers show up for the World Mixed Doubles Championship, beginning Monday.
What I really want to know is this: How can these spammers think their traps would be successful, when curling fans have enjoyed the best online worlds coverage for multiple years now?
I’m guessing there are people out there—many of them from Canada—that still aren’t aware the World Curling Federation is broadcasting one or two matches during every world championship draw, online, for free (subject to COVID-19 test results, of course).
Maybe these fans are used to curling’s availability on traditional cable television, or maybe they just don’t believe online broadcasts are up to the same standard as a cable channel. But it needs to be known: this coverage is high quality, free, easily accessible and super-easy to watch on your living room TV.
Perhaps it’s time the WCF advertised this coverage directly to Canadians, eh?
Today’s broadcast coverage of the world championships is a mix of old and new. There are still traditional television deals in each country, but those are supplemented by online streaming.
Games are shown on the 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 to access, although some games that are subject to a domestic television broadcast deal are blocked in certain countries.
For example, viewers in Canada can’t view games on YouTube that are being shown on TSN. So Canadians watch and listen to Vic, Cheryl and Russ, while viewers in other countries watch the same game on YouTube with different commentators and graphics.
Within each YouTube game page, you can comment and chat with other viewers from around the world. If you venture in to the live chat area, you’ll not only see all kinds of comments on the game being shown, you’ll also get lots of different languages and perspectives. You might even see some users trying to ask for help with illegal streaming sites (true story, although I hope it wasn’t the scam site I mentioned at the top).
The live chat is refereed by moderators who keep things civil. Be prepared for complaints as to why certain games are being shown instead of others. You can also keep an eye out for celebrity appearances; I saw Chelsea Carey drop in during the men’s worlds, as well as Norwegian curler (and WCTV commentator) Sander Rolvag.
When some people hear “live streaming” they might think it’s the equivalent of a curler pointing their phone camera at the game and letting it run onto their team’s Facebook page. Throw that idea out of your head … it’s 2021 now. The quality of these broadcasts is literally the same standard as you would expect on TV. The only thing I wish they’d improve on is having the scoreboard 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 these have a YouTube app. Fire it up, search for World Curling TV, and sit back and enjoy the action.
If you need help firing it up, watch a YouTube video. People post all kinds of how-to videos. Recently I learned how to make perfectly clear ice for my cocktails. Back in May of 2020, I accepted a #CurlersWhoCook challenge and made a very different kind of pizza.
For the World Mixed Doubles, Japan will—not surprisingly—receive the most pre-playoff game coverage. Canada gets six round robin matches covered, RCF gets four, a bunch receive two and a bigger bunch get one.
Back to those scammer links I mentioned at the top. What happens if you actually click on them? Do you get to watch a live stream of the game?
Don’t try this at home, folks. While fully aware the links would probably take me a shady website with lots of nasty popups and malware, I chose to go there.
During the men’s worlds, I found an old laptop and did a factory reset on it, which enabled me to click on those links so that you don’t have to.
The result? The first click took me to a page that simply said “World Men’s Curling Championship 2021 Live Online” with a button enticing me to “click here.” Clicking on that lead me to another site that urged me to sign up to “Watch for Free Now!”
I looked closely, and noticed all references to any world curling championship were missing from the page. This is due to the fact there are lots of different scams running across different sports and shows, all of them leading to this page.
At this point, I put in a throwaway email address to sign up and click yet again … the next page told me it needs my credit card number to “confirm” my location. They noted that my card would NOT be charged; this was for information only. They pinky swore.
It’s at this point my adventure ends, because while I can make a fake email account, I can’t do that for a credit card. Besides, we all know this is a one-way road to the town of identity theft.