Hi Robert, last time (in Dresden, 2014) we did not get to record many videos as it happened in Giessen '12. But both '12 and '14 there was a professional Turkish photographer who accompanied Mr. Melik Duyar. However, his videos and his professional photographs are copyright of the Memoriad organization. If you check their FB group, their FB site or their YT page, you can find some more photos and videos for this particular contest. In the Web archive, I just managed to find a really good additional photo-report about MCWC-2012 (written in the News section of the old Memoriad website)
Other than that, we didn’t have many journalists or reporters surrounding us, because this is about a mathematical competition. After the competition, the organizer (Ralf) had e-mailed us about 60 MCWC-related articles, featured in many newspapers (German ones mainly). These articles were mainly reporting about the Japanese or the Indian winners, respectively. They totally deserve their mention and accolades.
Objectively, I guess all mind-sports (including WMC, MCWC and XMT) are not extremely exciting for the watchers. (pretty much the same as watching chess players competing). Some will find it interesting, some won’t ! But if those events were aired on TV, I’m sure few people would still watched them (on Eurosport, ESPN-sports or something similar). Because some folks even find it interesting to watch on TV, sports such as Darts, Rowing, Snooker, Squash or Tennis. With all due respect, for me Tennis is a small ball going back and forth in a large court. But I appreciate that the tennis players have to be in a great physical condition, have perfect eyesight, hand/feet coordination and reflexes. It’s a matter of taste.
But mind-sports competitions are much different that TV shows (like Superhuman) which are more flashy and individual-oriented. The biggest hurdle for televising mind-sports competitions is that they require simultaneous participation of many people. That brings more overall noise, which make it harder for competitors to focus. Just ask how people from WMC or XMT use earplugs to control noise.
Now, during breaks between the tasks, there is a chance for drinks and food in the buffet, in order to replenish some energy. But I don’t think they offer any alchoholic drink in the buffet, besides the occasional red wine. But I remember that Freddy in Giessen, drank lots of beer after his multiplication world record and his gold medal, and even inside the Memoriad Cup. But there were not any champagne-opening and such celebrations (like in Formula-1 though). In Memoriad, inside the venue in Turkey, all hotel’s facilities (Gym, Pool, Bar etc.) were “all-inclusive” (=free) for all the competitors. And until 10 p.m. all kinds of drinks in the hotel’s bar were free for the participants. I remember Andi Bell (I had recognised him from his TV appearances), was drinking some kind of whiskey (or vodka) with few other competitors in the bar. I found that sight strange, because as we all know alchohol somehow reduces brain’s agility, clarity and sharpness.(and whiskey (per weight) usually has 8 times more alchohol than beer). But okay, even ex-Memory World Champions like Andi, can have a break from time to time!
I remember reading Alexander Alekhine’s biography (one of the most genius Russian World Chess Champions) where it said that Alekhine was a known alcoholic during the 1930’s, and he had to detox in order to regain his World Title in '37.