Keeping sports events exclusive, How?
I have just read several articles on new media policy of SEC(Southeastern Conference) in United States. As the Conference signed 3 billion USD TV rights deal with ESPN and CBS they try to keep the footage exclusive to their well paying broadcasters.
In order to do so they released this statement in the new policy rule book:
“Ticketed fans can’t “produce or disseminate (or aid in producing or disseminating) any material or information about the Event, including, but not limited to, any account, description, picture, video, audio, reproduction or other information concerning the Event.”
As you can imagine this means as a ticketed fan you cannot distribute your memory Picture from the famous victory of your team in Facebook, or tease friends in Twitter or send a Picture via Twitpic. The problem SEC faces today will be the problem of all broadcasters around the world in several years.
A keyword in SEC’s statement is competition to broadcaster exclusivity. Are Twitter, Friendfeed, Twitpic, Youtube competitors to broadcaster exclusivity is the question we need to adress.
Turkish Football Federation Marketing Manager Burak Gürkan says “This is definitely a conflict in regards to broadcaster exclusivity.” He adds “As a person I am pretty happy with technological advancements but as a marketing manager I can’t say that I am too happy with the rapid advancements in online sharing tools.” Gürkan concludes that “Broadcaster exclusivity is a must keep for all of us as all sports feed from broadcasters nowadays. I am not sure how to stop sharing live sport content on Twitter, Friendfeed or other social media sites but we must try our best”
For instance Youtube is trying to ban the videos of Premier League matches that are stored from TV broadcast. However there are loads of video sites that broadcast those goals in other sites. Premier League broadcasters are trying to stop these efforts in some way however a person can easily watch these goals almost instantly on the net.
One thing for sure is that the exclusivity you get on TV can not be guaranteed online. The audience, you try to attract to stadiums nowadays by all means, will soon be broadcasting the match you are being paid to be broadcasted tomorrow. As 3G is the new hype in Turkey more conflicts of broadcaster exclusivity will soon be discussed. Hopefully this time broadcaster of the Turkcell Super League, Digiturk will not try to ban Twitter, Twitpic, Friendfeed and other social media sites like they did to Blogspot a year ago.
One final concern to be addressed is; how can you stop people tweeting about the match they attended? Will there be stewards checking over your shoulders whether you are tweeting or not? Or will the operators block the EDGE, 3G or LTE networks around the stadiums? It is easy to write a rule on a ticket but harder to apply it in real life. Let’s rediscuss after we see some poor people that will be ordered to pay million dollar fees for the goal they enthusiastically recorded to share with their friends.