The announcement that the forthcoming match against Ukraine will only be available as a streaming video from an internet paysite is another example of big businesses wanting to have their own cake and eat it, at the same time squeezing every last penny out of consumers.
It seems to me that the general public are increasingly taking on the role of victims rather than customers. In an age where widespread media distribution is not only possible but economically viable, I find it particularly galling that something as self-seeking and absurd as legislative rights should stand in the way of availability.
I live in Canada and I got the following message when I tried to log onto the website: "Unfortunately our automated system has detected that you are located in a geographically restricted territory where live streaming is unavailable due to broadcasting rights restrictions." So never mind not being able to watch it on television, this means I cannot watch it at all, even if I were willing to pay.
I don't think you should have to pay to be patriotic, and I think that international football should be available to all on terrestrial television.
It's not like this is even the thin end of the wedge, just another example of the greedy, messed up system of media rights. Huge satellite corporations, in order to secure media rights, are forced to outbid terrestrial broadcasters with amounts they can ill-afford to pay, charge extortionate amounts to their customers in order to cover their costs, fail to achieve the required number of subscriptions as a result and subsequently go bust, usually leaving a hideous mess behind to be picked up by the next soon-to-go-bust media corporation.
Who is responsible for this rights mess? Is it government, or the corporations themselves? Recently there has been a heavy emphasis on rights violations and copyright theft via the internet by consumers, and corporations are quick to cry foul and victim, frequently quoting outlandish figures that they have been deprived of as a result of piracy, and vowing to hunt down and prosecute those responsible. But I am looking at the flip side of the coin as a consumer, and I would argue that the current setup actively invites piracy.
What do you think?