Getting The Hang Of Football On The Internet


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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5 Responses

  1. The Gaffer says:

    Good post. A couple of things… First, Americans have been watching Premier League games streamed live to laptops (legally) for a few years now. It took a while to get used to it, but the experience is great. And the quality of the HD stream is better than the television picture.

    Second, the bigger concern for the Premier League is that they don’t want to let go of the big cash cow which is propping up the league… and that’s TV revenue. They’re not in a rush to be ahead of the curve by offering legal streams of games online which they could sell as subscriptions because I’m sure they believe that would negatively affect how much TV revenue they could generate.

    The future is streaming all games to a computer which can then be played on a TV, on a phone or a tablet, or similar device. I don’t foresee the Premier League lifting their 3pm Saturday ban, so for many Brits illegal streams will become more and more part of their Saturday routine unfortunately.

    The Gaffer

  2. Stephen Campbell says:

    I think the gaffer is right that the 3pm Saturday no-go area means illegal streams will get the ‘in’ to the market that the main article predicts (most people, even non TV subscribers, would prefer to be in the pub anyway for Sky or ESPN games).

    But I don’t really see how the broadcasters have got a disincentive to open up online coverage match by match – it may reduce subscriptions but that could be offset by charging more for one-off games? If, as the artice suggests, the FA are early adopters there is every reason to beleive they could use Sky’s marketing resources to capture that market. Plus they could sell streams by subscription as well.

    The 3pm broadcasting ban by the FA will be irrelevant if illegal streams increase in quality before they have legal competition (and therefore take over as consumers get used to not paying for football). The only way the FA can retain any control over its product is by moving first.

    It would be progressive of the FA and the Premier League to break off the 3pm broadcasting ban, let the boradcasters collect the money for streaming and use a chunk of the money to compensate the football league clubs that lose out on attendances.

    But that would of course break every trend in football governance for the past fifty years.

  3. Jim says:

    In what sense “progressive”? Unless in your world “progressive” means “showing two fingers to all the loyal supporters who actually go to games rather than sit on their fat transatlantic arses gawking at it on a screen”. The surest way to kill football in the UK, kill off 80% of the League, y’know, those clubs that actually discover and develop the talent, would be to allow live streaming at 3pm on a Saturday and add to the disincentive for casual supporters to turn up at their local ground.

    The progressive approach would be to allow a season-pass for live streaming of your club’s away games to be sold – or better, offered free – with a season-ticket for the home matches. So you can only access internet coverage if you’re a season-ticket holder. And only of your club’s away games.

    Real fans – as opposed to TV watchers – have consistently been ignored, taken for granted, and ridden roughshod over. Without us, the game becomes an irrelevance – a hideous pastiche of itself about as compelling as “Gladiators” and about as real as wrestling.

  4. Stephen Campbell says:

    Jim what you suggest would make sense (and I would be all in favour of it) if it was in any way possible to restrict access to streaming. But the point of streaming is that it isn’t possible to restrict access – which is the point that the main article is making.

    I was following the logic of the original article (that of first mover advantage) and suggesting that legal streaming might actual capture some revenue. What I meant by ‘progressive’ (in the “y’know” wealth redistribution sense) was that it would be progressive if that income could be redistributed to the lower league teams that will inevitably lose out anyway when illegal streaming is of higher quality.

    I don’t understand how my suggestion rides roughshod over ordinary fans.

    Sorry if my point wasn’t clear.

    Pretty bored of the ‘you’re not a real 60 game a season fan like me’ card being played whenever anyone tries to start a discussion about anything. For this reason I will not be telling you who I support or how many games I go to a season.

  1. August 25, 2010

    […] Getting The Hang Of Football On The Internet “In no small part, the print media and the film and music industries both made the same mistake with the arrival of the internet. They both reacted to slowly at first to the new technology and both are repenting their tardiness at their leisure. The print media have been unable – yet – to find a method that successfully been able raise revenue from the shift to online viewing (and the silence from The Times after their paywall went up would seem to indicate that the numbers probably haven’t been spectacular, although Rupert Murdoch has described them as “strong”), but how will football, which has been happily wedded to television for the last two decades or so, react to changes in viewing habits?” (twohundredpercent) […]

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