Day: January 27, 2009

Football & The Internet: The Premier League Flexs Its Muscle

An official announcement this evening on the MyP2P site confirmed what has seemed more and more likely for the last few weeks or so. The Premier League is cracking down on the illegal streaming of its matches. The site confirms that will “once a judgement has been given, we will notify you of the outcome”, which would seem to indicate that proceedings have already been brought against them. We will await the outcome of it with interest. The biggest problem with the Premier League’s action against these organisations (apart from the somewhat obvious accusations of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut) is that is doesn’t actually affect the offenders. One suspects that the Premier League doesn’t fully understand peer to peer technology or, moreover, that it doesn’t really care that much about the technicalities of what it is dealing with. Ultimately, people are watching their “product” and they’re not paying for it, and that’s what it all boils down to. The biggest single problems with football by broadband are of delivery, access and quality. Broadband technology in this country still lags behind many in the world, and delivering streaming, high quality pictures is going to be a problem for any service providers. There is always going to be a reasonable chance that the stream will drop or that the picture will be of a poor quality. Because of...

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The Late Jim Thompson

The death of Jim Thompson last week was a passing that left most people in the non-league game with mixed feelings. On the one hand, Thompson was the chairman of the Steering Committee which led to the formation of the Alliance Premier League in 1979. Within eight years, the closed shop of the Football League would be gone forever, and non-league football would experience a revitalisation that it still reaps the benefits of now. On the other hand, he was reckless in the stewardship of his own club, Maidstone United. Maidstone left their home without planning permission to build a new one, and the events that followed would lead to the near-bankruptcy of another club and leave Thompson banned from football by the FA. The end of amateurism in non-league football had been a long time coming, but it didn’t automatically solve the problems of the new semi-professional game. Crowds had started to fall at the end of the 1950s, and by the end of the 1970s there were only a handful of clubs that could boast average crowds of over 1,000. Thompson, then the chairman of Southern League side Maidstone United, was placed in charge of the committee which founded the Alliance Premier League, taking ten clubs from the Southern Premier League and ten from the Northern Premier League. The aim was an increase in playing standards, with...

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