No Such Thing as a Free Lunch (or Video)?

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It wasn’t but a few hours after I’d linked to the Liverpool-Aston Villa goal highlights (through the wonderful 101 Great Goals), that they were pulled down; one can only imagine because of copyright infringement.

Sadly, in this Information Age, the peoples who own the broadcasting rights to these sporting events insist on squeezing every inch of blood they can from you and do not want any highlights of their precious broadcasts put up for free when they have a chance to charge you for them.

The problem is, who the fuck is going to pay for highlights? Very few people, that’s who. It’s ridiculous.

Obviously, the argument can be made that these corporations have paid good money to secure the rights to broadcasting these games and are simply protecting their investment by playing the Scrooge and demanding 90-second videos be taken down.

And obviously, a 90-second video is a fair substiute for a ninety-minute game and the videos’ mere existance threatens to the very viability of televising the matches live. Who’s going to spend two hours of their life watching a game when they can see snippets of that game hours later for a fraction of the time?

By not allowing the sporting fans to see their favorite teams in action, said sporting fans will now certainly be forced to spend the money they haven’t already spent and sign up for whatever service allows them to view the games & highlights? Because most real fans are content to just watch highlights and taking these videos away will remove any excuses they have not to overpay for the right to watch the whole match live.

Right?

Are you fucking kidding me? Even though the prices charged to watch specialty sporting channels, such as soccer, are borderline criminal, (and don’t preach to me about satellite providers versus the channels themselves… both are guilty) each and every fan would love to be able to watch these games live in the comfort of their own home. Sadly, many are often unable to due to restrictions on satellite dishes at their residences or because they simply don’t have the financial means to make it happen.

Video highlights are mere crumbs and are no substitute for the steak entree that is a live match. The videos on the internet just serve to whet the appetite, especially for those fans just finding their way into the game. One cannot survive on appetizers alone.

If the copyright holders were smart, they’d continue to allow the small clips of their precious broadcasts to be posted on the ‘net, providing them with a true viral marketing ‘network’. Eventually every fan who has the means is going to shell out too much cash for sign up for these channels. Shuttering the peek holes before they get a taste for what you have to offer is just bad business. (Or retarded. You choose.)

Sadly, methinks we can expect to see the assault on footy vids to continue this season. The crackdown has arrived and probably will not relent. Truly sad…

But, there is an oasis in the growing desert. (of sorts) While it involves waiting a day or two (which really is an eternity in this Internet Age), you can now watch Premier League highlights over on Fox/MSN’s free video section.

“Due to contractual obligations no highlights video will be published until after Sunday 7 p.m. ET.”

Better late than never, right?

I’m not sure how long this link (taking you to the PL videos) will be valid, but eventually you’ll have to search for them yourself through video.msn.com (probably under ‘More Sports’ and then ‘Latest FSC Videos’) or find a link on FoxSoccer on Mondays.

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7 Responses to “No Such Thing as a Free Lunch (or Video)?”


  1. 1 nate August 13, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Preach on, brother.

    You may have noticed IP addresses from NetResult, the firm the PL has hired to scour the internet, on your stat counter. I have anyway, and it’s egregious the lengths the Premier League has started to go to keep highlights, specifically of goals, off the internet. It’s gotten worse this season, and we’re only a week in. I can’t remember them ever getting goals offline this quickly; I remember searching youtube and daily motion for different highlights Saturday afternoon, and watching the clips get taken down one by one. It makes little to no sense to me either, because there’s a vast segment of fans who can’t see the games.

    I’m one of the “lucky” ones. I get FSC and Setanta, and I’m willing to pay for PPVs or this foxsoccer.com broadband if it works. But a lot of people can’t, especially abroad, where the rights restrictions are so much worse.

    It hurts to single out Chelsea, but they’ve taken a good step in having their own youtube channel. They don’t show highlights, because of the same restrictions on game coverage, but there’s a bit they do have, and other teams should follow that lead (and improve on it/increase the amount).

    You’re absolutely right about what the copyright holders *should* do, but from experience, I’m well aware they’ll end up doing the opposite.

    Sigh.

  2. 2 Jay August 13, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    What a bunch of bastards. It’s our game. It doesnt belong to them. This is something that everyone should struggle to curtail if possible. Don’t these idiots understand either that millions of people in the rest of world will be captive and free advertising for the Premier League by allowing goals to and highlights to remain online? Truly truly clueless and evil. The real reason for all this is because of the deals they’ve inked with Fox, MSNBC, Times International, for showing cheesy 90 second highlights surrounded by advertising so that they can squeeze every last penny out of us. This should be done as a piece of Samizdat insurrection. The bastards.

  3. 3 Blackadder August 13, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Hey Sven,

    You couldn’t be more right, mate. It’s freaking impossible to get hold of the highlights now. Goddamn copyrights. Can’t they realise that a fan that only watches HIGHLIGHTS is NOT a fan who will subscribe for the full service??? I’m not in favour of the extreme of having whole games published on-line for Christ’s sake, but let’s not go to the other extreme…
    There’s only one thing to do: DO NOT subscribe for any of that. Just watch the game in a pub. I was considering subscribing for LFC.tv’s e-season ticket, but now there’s no way I will. Thank god that the “Rampant Lion” has Setanta now…
    By the way, I made a prediction about the Aston Villa game last Friday saying that the final score would be 2-1 and that Gerrard would score… I was drunk. So I’m getting drunk tomorrow night to predict the Toulouse game… 😛

  4. 4 30frames August 14, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Enjoy the blog, very well written.

    Pardon this from a Mammon-eyed American – but it makes sense to me that the league doesn’t want the highlights out there for free – at least until their paying partners are done running their highlight/wrap-up shows.

    You can argue that yanking the highlights off the intratubes annoys the fans and that is a bad thing. But one (or several) broadcasters have paid big bucks to show the game AND have exclusive access to the highlights for a period of time. The league is (not surprisingly) more interested in keeping those broadcasters happy than in satisfying us grumbling free-loaders of the internet.

    Just TiVo one of the highlight shows. You guys have DVRs, right?

  5. 5 beingsven August 14, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    30Frames – It’s certainly a valid argument and its hard to argue with free market capitalism. But contractual obligations aside, WE (the fans) built the game, WE support the game, WE are the ones who drive the market (and the boatloads of cash that come with it) and it’s US who truly OWN the game.

    At the base of the problem, I believe, is the continued explotation of the Fan (in all aspects, from TV to ticket prices) when it is the Fan who is central to EVERYTHING. The Fan is the Alpha and the Omega and yet are treated a renewable resource which can be continually consumed and spat back out once they’ve been relieved of their value.

    Shuttering access in this specific way demonstrates a complete disregard for the little Fans and any understanding of what actually makes the sport (any sport) great.

    The Premier League will struggle to acquit itself of these charges as its hands are stained with blood (as in blood money) from super-recent Tevez/Joorabchian/West Ham debacle and the Thaksin/Man City take-over. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, as they’re only following the lead of uber-corrupt FIFA, but they truly are in it ‘For the Love of the Money’ not ‘For the Love of the Game’.

    As for DVR’s, no, I don’t have one. No digital cable either. And it’s not for lack of want.


  1. 1 101 Great Goals: latest football goals including Premiership, La Liga, Serie A and Champions League » Blog Archive » Stupidity Trackback on August 14, 2007 at 7:53 am
  2. 2 This is OUR Game. « being sven Trackback on August 14, 2007 at 3:18 pm

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