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From today's Guardian:

 

Source: http://football.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1948739,00.html

 

 

Football looks to broadband as the next launch platform

 

 

The high-speed internet provides broadcasters with their biggest challenge yet, writes Owen Gibson

 

Thursday November 16, 2006

The Guardian

 

If the defining moment in televised football in the 1980s was the introduction of regular live coverage, and Sky's millions defined the 1990s, the next quantum leap in armchair viewing is likely to take place via the broadband-enabled internet.

 

This month alone the Premier League has trained its sights on the Google-owned video-sharing phenomenon YouTube, and Uefa has unveiled a broadband service making live and archived Champions League matches available around the world. Even a decade ago, the idea of being able to watch any European match from the past at will would have been filed under science fiction.

 

Now, with high-speed internet connections proliferating, average connection speeds increasing and easy-to-use technology from Sky, BT and others starting to link the internet to the living room TV, matches delivered via broadband are viable. Just as the arrival of multichannel television changed the way we watched sport in the last decade, so broadcasts over high-speed internet lines are set to do the same in the next.

 

Outside football, an avalanche of deals, big and small, are being signed. As part of its new racing contract Channel 4 will show live Derby and Grand National coverage on the web in direct competition with the BBC, while as part of its deal to show highlights of the Ashes the corporation will have them online within minutes of the final ball of the day.

 

Governing bodies like Uefa and the Premier League, broadcasters such as Sky and telecoms giants such as BT, having long prepared for a converged world where viewers want to watch sport on a range of platforms, are all jostling for position. This was recognised by Uefa when it built into its latest batch of Champions League rights deals, jointly won in the UK by Sky and ITV and running for three years from this season, the requirement to simultaneously show live matches online.

 

Meanwhile, Uefa Media Technologies has developed its own video service that it has offered to broadcast partners in countries that were less advanced. "We help you out, we don't do it instead of you," is how the division's chief executive, Alexandre Fourtoy, explains the approach. As such, any Champions League match, and any Uefa Cup tie from the quarter-finals onwards, can be watched live on a pay-per-view basis in more than 100 countries.

 

Uefa has built an archive of more than 5,000 videos, and 1,000 full matches, going back over the past decade of Uefa competitions. It is searchable by season, club and player. While the money will flow from live coverage, Fourtoy describes the archive clips as a "service to fans". It will not be a huge money-spinner, he said, despite costing £29.95 per season to access.

 

The new service also offers potential new revenue streams for broadcasters. In America, where ESPN holds the rights, that might mean targeting the Greek community by offering a Panathinaikos match over the web while showing Barcelona or Chelsea on television.

 

These shifting technological sands have been recognised by the Premier League, which made its new live rights deals platform-neutral for the first time - allowing coverage to be delivered however the winning broadcaster chose but, unlike Uefa, not compelling them to offer matches online. In contrast to Uefa, which has set up its own technology and media division to produce its online coverage, the Premier League is happy to devolve broadband services to partners and clubs.

 

From the start of the new contracts next season, BT and Sky will both offer "near live" coverage of Premier League matches on demand. But as the music industry found to its cost, the unlimited storage and widespread coverage of the internet also has potential disadvantages. Already, millions around the world are watching illegal broadcasts over the web and the video-sharing phenomenon threatens to magnify the problem.

 

The Premier League has employed NetResult, a specialist in protecting intellectual property online, to scour YouTube and similar sites for unlicensed clips. "We've retained them to help keep an eye out on the ways in which our intellectual property is being infringed," said a Premier League spokesman. While the YouTube clips tend to be homemade compilations of great goals or match highlights and thus less damaging than people watching live feeds, he said it was important to maintain the principle of going after any firm that breaches copyright.

 

Fourtoy said that football in particular and sport in general would benefit most from the converging media landscape. Broadcasters will still pay huge sums for top-class rights, he predicted, because live sport remains one of the few things capable of delivering mass audiences in a fragmenting media world. But the football rights gravy train will only keep rolling if ways can be found to defeat the pirates. Fourtoy said the answer was for rights owners and broadcasters to develop more flexibility and "web 2.0" style functionality into their own services. "Today's football fan wants to share, show and create. If you can't go against it, get what you can from it," he said.

 

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Only a matter of time before someone like us gets busted, hence the rules to try stop it being us that is. The rules that we are constantly having to justify to people. Surely you've noticed stuff about this in the press more and more often? It looks like they're preparing the way for a crack-down to me.

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I do subscribe to FSW (US football channel) and go to watch the matches at a local pub when they are on Setanta.  But that isn't every match.  As an overseas supporter, it would be brilliant if there was one definitive affordable high quality stream offered by the Premier League that could let me watch the matches on broadband.  I would subscribe. 

 

But there isn't is there?  And while they sit on their arses for a few years, deciding how best to exploit the situation for ridiculous amounts of money and minimum quality, we have free alternatives to watch online.  They fell behind.  The only reason there isn't presently an official stream for every match every weekend is they can't figure out how to get enough money out of it.  So **** them and **** their copyright restrictions tbh.  They have the technology and could quite easily set up a service but they haven't.

 

It's one thing for the music industry to complain that people are downloading mp3s instead of buying albums legally or going off iTunes, but quite another for the Premier League to bitch about live streams when they don't offer the matches for broadband purchase themselves. 

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I do subscribe to FSW (US football channel) and go to watch the matches at a local pub when they are on Setanta.  But that isn't every match.  As an overseas supporter, it would be brilliant if there was one definitive affordable high quality stream offered by the Premier League that could let me watch the matches on broadband.  I would subscribe. 

 

But there isn't is there?  And while they sit on their arses for a few years, deciding how best to exploit the situation for ridiculous amounts of money and minimum quality, we have free alternatives to watch online.  They fell behind.  The only reason there isn't presently an official stream for every match every weekend is they can't figure out how to get enough money out of it.  So **** them and **** their copyright restrictions tbh.  They have the technologically and could quite easily set up a service but they haven't.

 

It's one thing for the music industry to complain that people are downloading mp3s instead of buying albums legally or going off iTunes, but quite another for the Premier League to bitch about live streams when they don't offer the matches for broadband purchase themselves. 

 

Exactly my sentiments, couldn't have put it better myself.

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I do subscribe to FSW (US football channel) and go to watch the matches at a local pub when they are on Setanta.  But that isn't every match.  As an overseas supporter, it would be brilliant if there was one definitive affordable high quality stream offered by the Premier League that could let me watch the matches on broadband.  I would subscribe. 

 

But there isn't is there?  And while they sit on their arses for a few years, deciding how best to exploit the situation for ridiculous amounts of money and minimum quality, we have free alternatives to watch online.  They fell behind.  The only reason there isn't presently an official stream for every match every weekend is they can't figure out how to get enough money out of it.  So fuck them and fuck their copyright restrictions tbh.  They have the technologically and could quite easily set up a service but they haven't.

 

It's one thing for the music industry to complain that people are downloading mp3s instead of buying albums legally or going off iTunes, but quite another for the Premier League to bitch about live streams when they don't offer the matches for broadband purchase themselves. 

 

I agree.

 

But that still doesn't mean we should risk having the site shut down because people have posted links, etc, on here.

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I do subscribe to FSW (US football channel) and go to watch the matches at a local pub when they are on Setanta.  But that isn't every match.  As an overseas supporter, it would be brilliant if there was one definitive affordable high quality stream offered by the Premier League that could let me watch the matches on broadband.  I would subscribe. 

 

But there isn't is there?  And while they sit on their arses for a few years, deciding how best to exploit the situation for ridiculous amounts of money and minimum quality, we have free alternatives to watch online.  They fell behind.  The only reason there isn't presently an official stream for every match every weekend is they can't figure out how to get enough money out of it.  So **** them and **** their copyright restrictions tbh.  They have the technology and could quite easily set up a service but they haven't.

 

It's one thing for the music industry to complain that people are downloading mp3s instead of buying albums legally or going off iTunes, but quite another for the Premier League to bitch about live streams when they don't offer the matches for broadband purchase themselves. 

MLS used to offer free streams for all the matches. nows its just 20 bucks for the entire year. something like that for the PL would be great.

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  • 2 weeks later...

roughly, what did he say to get banned? a bit more specific than he was advocating piracy. Interesting for me, since I reckon that I'm on the line for advocating piracy and i might step over it at some point if I don't know where it is. Andy, PM me if it shouldn't be said in an open thread. Cheers

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roughly, what did he say to get banned? a bit more specific than he was advocating piracy. Interesting for me, since I reckon that I'm on the line for advocating piracy and i might step over it at some point if I don't know where it is. Andy, PM me if it shouldn't be said in an open thread. Cheers

 

It was a link for a torrent site.

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roughly, what did he say to get banned? a bit more specific than he was advocating piracy. Interesting for me, since I reckon that I'm on the line for advocating piracy and i might step over it at some point if I don't know where it is. Andy, PM me if it shouldn't be said in an open thread. Cheers

 

It was a link for a torrent site.

:lol: allright. Pretty stpid, yeah. :lol:

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I do subscribe to FSW (US football channel) and go to watch the matches at a local pub when they are on Setanta. But that isn't every match. As an overseas supporter, it would be brilliant if there was one definitive affordable high quality stream offered by the Premier League that could let me watch the matches on broadband. I would subscribe.

 

But there isn't is there? And while they sit on their arses for a few years, deciding how best to exploit the situation for ridiculous amounts of money and minimum quality, we have free alternatives to watch online. They fell behind. The only reason there isn't presently an official stream for every match every weekend is they can't figure out how to get enough money out of it. So **** them and **** their copyright restrictions tbh. They have the technology and could quite easily set up a service but they haven't.

 

It's one thing for the music industry to complain that people are downloading mp3s instead of buying albums legally or going off iTunes, but quite another for the Premier League to bitch about live streams when they don't offer the matches for broadband purchase themselves.

MLS used to offer free streams for all the matches. nows its just 20 bucks for the entire year. something like that for the PL would be great.

 

Surely the premier league would suffer big time if this was to happen.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6192264.stm

 

Illegal net sport faces crackdown

By Ian Youngs

Entertainment reporter, BBC News

 

Sports authorities are taking action to stop illegal live coverage of football and other events over the internet.

 

Almost all English Premiership matches are available to watch live and for free, as are other leagues and sports.

 

The coverage, mainly from Chinese sport channels, is put on peer-to-peer applications and can be watched anywhere in the world.

 

As well as football, some sites are also claiming to offer live cricket action from The Ashes in Australia.

 

The FA Premier League, Uefa, Cricket Australia and other sport bodies have employed a company called NetResult to police the internet for unauthorised video.

 

Some websites provide direct links to each match, only requiring the user to download a free peer-to-peer programme.

 

NetResult's Tim Cooper said it had seen "good success" in stopping broadcasts on the Chinese services, but it was an "ongoing challenge".

 

"We're gradually working the numbers down and down, so unfortunately it's a bit of a lengthy process," he said.

 

"You could shut a website down today but tomorrow another 10 will appear.

 

"We're fighting a continual battle because people will always try and jump on and off certain services and new technology is always evolving."

 

Premiership matches that kick off at 3pm on Saturdays are not shown on TV in the UK for fear that stadium attendances could suffer.

 

But most are available on the peer-to-peer services.

 

Mr Cooper said NetResult was in constant contact with the managers of peer-to-peer applications like PPLive and PPMate to have illegal content removed.

 

Some matches are also streamed directly from individual sites and NetResult said it was lobbying internet service providers to shut these down.

 

Premier League spokesman Tim Vine said most offending sites had been taken down for contravening intellectual property rights.

 

'Clamp down'

 

"It is clearly a difficult area to patrol," he said. "However, we will continue to make every effort to protect our rights holders and clamp down on these sites."

 

No live Premiership matches are yet available legally online anywhere in the world.

 

But from next season, Sky and Setanta Sports - who have won the rights to show Premiership matches on TV in the UK until 2010 - will also be able to broadcast them legally on the internet.

 

NetResult is also trying to stamp out illicit live coverage of The Ashes.

 

"At the moment there are some sites that are offering it," Mr Cooper said. "But the majority of them we're managing to shut down in swift time."

 

The BBC has the rights to stream recorded highlights to UK internet users, while Sky Sports is sending clips to mobiles.

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