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World Cup Streaming Video England v Ukraine

by Homesick (U7351098) 05 October 2009
Competitors:
Ukraine v England
Date:
10 October 2009
Competition:
World Cup
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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?

Latest 10 comments

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posted Oct 10, 2009

We are not complaining about paying to watch sport. It is the invedious, creeping and cancerous growth of commercialism into the national game, wich we were promised would never happen that gauls us.

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posted Oct 10, 2009

ill not say, but i know 2 websites where you'll see it for free

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comment by Lordy L (U2217699)

posted Oct 10, 2009

If everyone refused to watch pay per view tv then that would be the end of it!

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comment by mrcann (U7457248)

posted Oct 10, 2009

It's so frustrating..

I can completely understand the comments posted here but I feel our wrath is being unfairly focused at the wrong people.

The Ukrainian FA own the rights to the match coverage. They decided to sell the rights to Setanta, who have subsequently gone bust. They have then chosen to air the coverage on a pay per view website.

Sickening. But not the fault of the BBC or the FA.

I'll be watching Ireland vs Italy anyway. When England are not available Ireland make a handy substitute - just like the 1994 World Cup!

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comment by Le (U14167485)

posted Oct 10, 2009

I really hope some players will come out after the game and condemn this issue. Fair enough if they want to charge people for streaming over the internet, but it should NOT be exclusive!

To the people who have paid to stream, I'd really appreciate it if after the game, you'd come on here or phone up 606 and let everyone know what the stream quality and connection is like.

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posted Oct 10, 2009

I wonder what would happen if at the kick off time some bright geek mounted a denial of service attack on their website, would the punters get their money back?

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posted Oct 10, 2009

On myp2.eu they are streaming this free and you may have to download a program to watch it on but have a look they have a list of all the channels showing this use that instead of paying.

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posted Oct 10, 2009

Well this is still the thread linked by the BBC Sport article, so I'll give my reaction on the service and coverage from Perform/Kentaro:

The stream was good! Despite all the obviously uneducated (and more than a little hopeful, I expect!) predictions of congestion, lag and buffering, it was a consistently smooth display without any interruptions at my end. The "low" quality was a 640x360 resolution, I didn't get to check the "high" quality but that's what I watched during the match itself and it looked great on my 26" gaming monitor.

The commentary team were passable. Not your experienced Sky commentators, not your Match of the Day commentators who redo lines post-match to sound better (or insert "prophetic" lines and predictions they know will come true later in the highlights), but the speech was well-paced and the less descriptive style was a nice contrast to what we normally get out of commentary.

Studio coverage was simply the host and Sven, I feel Sven was the weak link of the cast and the host notably had to work around him once or twice, moving quickly onto the next question when Sven's response to the current one made little sense or was incomprehensible. In that sense the host did a good job, and he made some astute observations about the game. I'm pleasantly surprised he caught Lampard's conditioned reaction to fall to ground in box during the second half, for example.

In short I definitely enjoyed the evening. As an early adopter I do feel it was worth my £5. If Perform were to somehow acquire future England games I'd expect them to have learned from this endeavor and would put that money down again.

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posted Oct 12, 2009

Well, the event came and went. Thank you for all your responses everybody, and I hoped you all enjoyed the match, whether you watched it legally or illegally. I of course, being a law-abiding citizen, did not watch the match as it was unavailable in my country, however a good friend of mine was able to watch the match by opening up several websites that were showing it illegally, and every time an attempt was made to block the broadcast on one site, switched to one of the other sites or simply refreshed the page. Not the most ideal way to watch a match, but my friend says he was determined to see as much of it as possible just to stick two fingers up at the greedy individuals who would line their pockets by exploiting the goodwill and loyalty of supporters.

A few points in conclusion:
The general feeling seems to be one of antipathy towards those who buy and sell exclusive rights. Glad Iím not alone on that.
I havenít read any statistics on the number of subscribers, but I sincerely hope it failed miserably, as this would be the only way to deter other companies from adopting a similar approach for future events.
Reading through the comments, there is a lot of anger here directed in a variety of different directions. We should be sure that the correct people feel the heat of our wrath, as this event is just part of a much wider rights issue. Ask any Radio 4 listener about the Listen Again feature on the BBC website, or anybody living outside the U.K. about BBCi player. Iím not even sure Kentaro are the ones to point the finger at here. They just saw a business opportunity and went for it.
That said, pressure can be put on involved parties for their willful participation in an unfair system. Consumers have shown in the past that it is possible to force the hand of corporate bullies by showing a united front, and boycotts are an obvious way to do this. If we act like sheep and allow ourselves to be herded around by a few dogs with sharp teeth, then thatís all we will ever be, and the situation will only get worse.

I apologise if I come across like Che Guevara with all this rhetoric, but I am genuinely angry and concerned that this rights issue is out of control and likely to deteriorate further. Putting aside his performance the other night, Rio Ferdinandís comments about this did not endear him to me, but I fear he may be right, even if there was a touch of Ďlet them eat cakeí about his remarks.

Finally, there have been many fine and interesting comments on here, but I am only going to respond directly to one.
Miraglyth, thank you for your splendid critique, but I canít help feeling it is misplaced on this thread. Although there have been comments on the subject, the quality of the broadcast was only a side issue. Those that refused to pay donít care whether the commentary was good or bad, in fact I doubt that many of them are interested in the details at all. However, in your first post you made the following comment: ďMany people get themselves into subscription contracts for upwards of 12 months, paying in excess of £20/month just to see the England games. It averages out far worse, and many months don't even have any England games in them!Ē
Now that IS the point. Itís bad enough already, yet people are expected to fork out more and more as companies constantly find new angles to make extra money from consumers. And thatís just those it is available to. In a country with a population of over 51 million, the broadcast was only available to a possible 1 million. I and many other England supporters living abroad werenít even given that option. This is why the current set up encourages people to break the law.
I also want to question the following remark Ė ďIf Perform were to somehow acquire future England games I'd expect them to have learned from this endeavor [sic] and would put that money down again.Ē Iím not quite sure what you meant by that, but I canít help thinking that it is naÔve in the extreme. What would you expect them to learn exactly? Whether they can get away with charging more next time? How they can reduce their overheads to maximize their profits? If you think the primary goal of any such business is anything other than to make money with the minimum of effort, then I am afraid you are not living in the real world. Good customer service is a byproduct of competition and consumer power, not of any companyís willful strategy. With exclusive rights the competition is removed, and acquiescence simply gifts it to them on a plate.

Sorry if this seems a bit long-winded. I hope you persisted with this until the end.
Up the revolution!

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posted Oct 12, 2009

<devil>
It is being reported that there were half a million subscribers, but these figures have undoubtedly been exaggerated to look more impressive.
If it was anywhere near that number however, the profit should have been considerable.

Regarding Rio's remarks; I feel some people are all too ready to attack him at any excuse.
His actual comment - which were minimal - was in fact quite sensible.
He had nothing to say regarding the exclusivity, the assignment of rights etc.; his only point was that the utilisation of modern technology which could make football even more accessible looked like a good thing, and an exciting prospect for the future dissemination of broadcasts.

I don't see why anyone should be so antagonistic to this; it is just that the quality and exclusivity were an issue with this first one, and people were paying for an untried technology.

Ferdinand's comments were regarding the future, not the rights and wrongs of the ramifications of this one broadcast.

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