UK’s Nation Sport Theatened by Justin.TV? I Think Not.

Premier League

Image via Wikipedia
(ps – I am pretty sure this is an “unlicensed” use of their logo…)

TechDirt has some thoughts on a GuardianUK article that questions whether people “illegally” streaming local broadcasts of soccer matches over services like Justin.TV is a threat to the financial well-being of the sport since it could impact the licensing fees networks currently pay for the exclusive broadcast rights.

However, as TechDirt so eloquently points out, the piracy only exists because of a big demand that the true rights-holder is failing to meet.  It isn’t that people are unwilling to watch legally sanctioned broadcasts of their favorite team but, unless they happen to live in a very small geographic area, they simply can’t under current conditions.  Thus, they seek out other ways to watch the match.  Are they doing this to hurt the sport?  Of course not!  Their willingness to go so far just to watch is direct proof of a deep love and need.

Not ones to just complain, TechDirt adds:

“Here’s a novel idea: instead of trying to crack down on the likes of, why not require rightsholders to offer free streams of games as parts of their deals? Then, the Premier League and its broadcast partners get to serve this demand, instead of or Chinese P2P services, and get to capitalize on it through advertising or other means. It might have some effect on pay services by giving fans with the least willingness to pay a free service to use, but again, I’d argue that most people would still prefer to watch their teams’ games on a bigger screen and in higher quality enough to pay for it. And the additional fans the services would reach could make new converts to paid services as well.”

From their lips…

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