Deciding to share their ability to chatter on endlessly about tennis with the world, tennis writers Ben Rothenberg and Courtney Nguyen created the No Challenges Remaining Tennis Podcast (a.k.a. NCR) in early 2012, and have been going strong ever since.
As it wraps up its fourth year, NCR has continued to grow and evolve. In early 2015, Ben and Courtney committed to a steady stream of weekly episodes, and have maintained that output ever since, publishing a new episode every Tuesday. On a shoestring budget and with limited time and resources, NCR has grown a community of dedicated listeners whose support has made it the No. 1 rated podcast on professional tennis on iTunes. Our five-star rating is backed by over 90 reviews.
While increasing their quantity, Ben and Courtney have also been dedicated to similarly increasing quality. This has meant a greater focus on basics like audio quality (like with Courtney's fancy new microphone-recorder gizmo!), but also more ambitious programming.
How? Most obviously, our long-awaited Episode 100 featured THREE awesome guests: Jelena Jankovic, Ernests Gulbis, and NCR stalwart Andrea Petkovic. It was awesome fun, and continues to be our most-listened to episode ever.
But perhaps more importantly, Ben and Courtney have worked to incorporate aspects of some of our own favorite podcasts to create more innovative, immersive episodes. This has included super cool stuff such as our behind-the-scenes audio tour of Wimbledon with guide Alexandra Willis, and Ben's recent journey down to the minor leagues of tennis at a ATP Challenger Tour event in Charlottesville.
Ben and Courtney have each put in hundreds upon hundreds of hours into the first four years of NCR, and have loved every minute of it, and each and every listener in our community of tennis superfans. But the tough reality of our other work means that time isn't free, and after sinking much of our own money into recording equipment, hosting fees, and other show-related expenses, we're humbly asking for your help to keep the show going and growing.
With your backing, NCR will be able to keep up its strenous weekly pace, continue to tackle more challenging projects like the ones mentioned above, and grow the scope and scale of the show while still maintaining the casual, fun, and irreverent spirit in which it was created.
Your support will also make NCR a more viable priority when our schedules are at their busiest, and allow us to do something that's always proven tough: publishing more frequent (mini) episodes during Grand Slam events when the appetite for our other work in tennis is at its greatest. Put simply, with your support we can make NCR more than just a casual hobby we dip into when we have time.
By helping us reach our goals, you'll be helping to secure the show's future for 2016. Coming off the historic 2015 seasons of Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic, and heading into the Rio Olympics, 2016 could well be the awesomest year for tennis in a long, long time. Together, we can take NCR to the next level and bring you, the tennis fan, more diverse reporting and storytelling from all levels of the sport. That's what Ben & Courtney believe you deserve. But we can't do it without your help.
Ben and Courtney
Risks and challenges
We're old pros at this podcasting game by now and don't anticipate any issues continuing to publish the steady flow of weekly episodes that we've delivered throughout 2015, plus our additional 2016 goals for further programming (with your help!).
The primary risk that may encumber the future of NCR is the employment statuses of its hosts. If, in the future, Ben or Courtney enter into employment agreements that preclude their involvement in the podcast, NCR may be at risk. But we would do everything we could to make sure the podcast continues, whether with new hosts or with a new format.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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