Premier League
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Two and a half years after I watched my first illegal p2p stream of a Premier League football match, lawyers for the grotesquely bloated English Premier League are upping their lobbying of the UK Government.

I remember when you had to guess your way through Chinese characters to find the stream you wanted, but in the last year or so, the quality of illegal streams has really picked up. Sites such as collate streams of every sporting event you could dream of, allowing those of us who can’t afford/don’t want to afford to line the pockets of Sky Sports and Setanta to engage in that ancient ritual of watching 22 men kick a plastic ball around a field.  As with plans to tackle the illegal downloading of music, the UK government seems to think it can stop the issue of illegal sports streams by leaning on ISPs. Maybe they’re right – but I imagine that’s some way off. Besides, seeing as it’s taken so long for action this time, someone more technical than me will find a way around this, meaning we can continue to watch the game without paying, happy in the knowledge that the innovators of this world are not the defenders of immorally -if not financially -bankrupt regimes.

Is this stealing? Under the current system, yes, clearly. But as with Hollywood and the music industry, perhaps a new method of paying needs to be found. The amount of money spent on advertising can surely pay a good chunk – why not up it? What about embnedded advertising on screen for example? Online media has changed the game – your model is not working anymore.

Besides, it’s party because the public are exploited by pay TV that footballers get paid 100k a week. Does the public want that? Largely, no. So maybe  when the Premier League, worried it won’t be able to flog its wares for quite as much if the companies forking out for it know it’s not quite as valuable anymore, come knocking at Culture Secretary Andy Burnham’s door – he can answer that as an MP, he’s got far more important things to worry about than defending the interests of the Premier League millionaires.

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  1. JoeBloggs says:

    Excellent analysis there. The platform on which media is made available has changed dramatically in such a short space of time. If the powers that be try to resist it – they will lose. However if they accept it and adapt to it then the potential is still there to make money albeit not on a sick over bloated level they are at the moment.

  2. […] few weeks back, Premier League lawyers were pushing the UK government a little harder to punish ISPs for allowing customers to view illegal streams of matches. Well, it now seems that popular streaming site is no longer showing premier league […]

  3. Paul says:

    Here in the States, I would gladly pay a fair fee to watch all NFL and MLB games blackout free..But the greedy owners hold back matches and charge outrageous sums. Therefore I will continue to watch the streams.

  4. Jimmy says:

    Will fans stop going to games because the game is available online? No chance! Plenty still manage to go even when the games live on telly.

    Going to a game or watching it down the pub creates a different experience from watching it at home. So watching a live stream online offers another, totally new, dimension.

    By allowing illegal streaming websites to broadcast ‘legally’ will create a whole new market of viewers in the UK… and may tap in to a much bigger one globally. It wont, as many big wigs fear, take anything away from the existing market.

    Compare this argument to when the budget airlines first appeared. Many assumed, wrongly, that the cheap carriers would put the big airlines, and even bus/train services, out of business. Instead, the cheap fares simply made more people travel more often.

    On website is already way ahead of the game by offering such a service for under £10 per year plans to combine a reliable online streaming platform with a social network site offering live webcam/audio streams so fans can watch the game online with their mates.

    One things for sure. Watching a dodgy live stream beats watching a text update on BBC refresh every 2 minutes.

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