Tag Archives: nfl

Twitter, Roddick, The US Open, The NFL and MORE!

If there is one thing you can rely on with new information/communication technologies its that those in power trying to control the spread of information for political or financial reasons will do whatever they can to slow the (inevitable) progress.

This week all the news is about how the US Open, the NFL and other major sporting leagues are trying to ban the use of Twitter by, depending on the sport, the players, the reporters and even, in some cases, the fans.

As reported by the NYT, Andy Roddick is one of many who think this is a bad idea and implies it might not have much force of power:

“I think its lame the U.S. Open is trying to regulate our tweeting,” he wrote Friday night. “I understand the on-court issue but not sure they can tell us if we can’t do it on our own time … we’ll see.”

Of course, for those in power, Twitter should be the least of their worries.  Think about all the fans with iPhones who can record and post video right there in the stands.  And why this obsession with Twitter? What about texting or emailing or shouting very loudly in a crowded room?

The point is that while one can understand trying to protect broadcast rights, it is hard to understand how a written communication from those attending or involved in a sporting event are going to somehow devalue those rights.

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In 2009, Big Media to Continue Losing to Pirates

National Football League
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Unless someone makes a very bold move, there is no reason to think that various forms of digital piracy will continue to grow in 2009.

This will be in the face of increased government scrutiny and bolder attempts by groups like RIAA to shut it all down.

Why?  Because the powers behind all big media continues to think that they can somehow beat back the digital tide and continue to make money with business models that have become obsolete.

Take this comment from a recent post on BusinessWeek:

The basic problem is that Hollywood is attempting to preserve an analog business model in a digital age. The result is a crazy quilt of availability in different media, in different geographies, and at different times. Our Man in Havana turns up now and then on cable channels, and the DVD has been available from Sony in Britain since 2005. But that disk is coded so it only works in European “Zone 2” players, not in North America. All of this makes little sense in a world where digital copies, legal or otherwise, are freely available.

If you doubt that, just try Googling (GOOG) “unlocked DVD players” and see how easy it is to get around the geographic zone restrictions. Or simply download a copy of the movie using BitTorrent, as I did. I don’t want to condone piracy. Yet it’s hard to condemn—or resist—when there’s a commodity item out there on the market and the vendor, for no particular reason, neglects to make it available to buyers.

The major sports leagues are facing a similar challenge.  As a first-person example, last night I was at my girlfriend’s TV & cable-free apartment and wanted to see a bit of the NFL playoff game.  I went to Google and tried looking up “streaming NFL playoff.”  A got a whole slew of options, none of which were official options provided by the NFL.

What I found was a site with links to “pirate” streams of the game provided by fellow fans who had taken the TV signal, routed it through their computer via a TV-tuner card and then posted that signal to any number of streaming hosts (UStream was last night’s helpful friend).

Within about 60 seconds I was watching a sort of low-res but completely watchable live transmission of the game.  I was also forced to watch all the ads, so I’m not even sure how this hurts anyone… but the NFL considers this a huge problem.

Of course, the problem isn’t pirates, it’s that the NFL (and MLB, the NHL and the rest of them) have failed to provide a viable option of their own that fits the needs of many potential customers.

How about simply charging $.99 to watch a game online.  With the commercials, even.  I would pay that just to have a simple, high-res, on-demand stream of the game I want to see.

It isn’t that people are dying to use pirate-methods to get the content they desire.  They are just not willing to jump through endless hoops and be over-charged for that content.

As soon as big media wises up to this and decides to go back to treating customers as people they serve instead of people they sue they will put the pirates right out of business.

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NFL Goes 3D – Good Way to Fight Pirates!

National Football League

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There is a closed beta test coming up in which the NFL will live-broadcast a game into a theater with 3D capabilities.

Not only does this sound like a pretty cool way to watch football, it is a step in the right direction when it comes to figuring out how to offer viewers new reasons to spend their money when so much content is available for free – legally or otherwise.

Something like watching a live 3D broadcast of your local football team in a theater full of like-minded fans sounds like a pretty damn marketable endeavor.

Via Engadget

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Pro Sports, Time to Step Up to the Plate

A number of years ago, around the time of the first dot-boom, there was a site that let regular folks “broadcast” live sporting events over the internet.  Basically, you tuned into the sporting event on TV, killled your volume and turned up your computer to the novice announcer of your choice.

Now, one can argue just how many novices out there are going to be better than the ones the networks are paying, but it was a totally cool idea.  So cool, it was shut down swiftly by either the MLB or NFL (I think) for violating their copyrights.

Now there is a new site, YouCastr (complete with the obligatory web2.0 misspelling) that will allow you to do the very same thing.

The TechCrunch post doesn’t mention anything about deals being struck with the major leaguers so it will be interesting to see if YouCastr makes it out of beta.

This is another (yup, another) example of big corporations potentially missing out of huge opportunities to spread their fan base in a misguided attempt to protect their “ownership” of the game.  Kinda makes you wonder just how much baseball is America’s Sport if the MLB shuts down regular folks attempting to share their love while it happens live.

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