We’ve had the first bans on Periscope (and Meerkat), the live-streaming apps. Now how are we going to enforce it?
Curiously, the National Hockey League has banned live streaming in its arenas. You cannot use Meerkat or Periscope to broadcast National Hockey League playoff games. And to me, it’s incredibly stupid, for two reasons:
First, it seems to me to be a very, very difficult ban to enforce. Are they going to send ushers up and down the aisles and say, “Hey, how come you have your phone out? Are you live streaming or just taking pictures for Instagram purposes?” Is it like a flight where you have to watch hockey in airplane mode?
Second, the NHL isn’t exactly the NFL in popularity. They need all the exposure they can get. Playoff hockey is often terrific, and anything used to spread that gospel is very much a net positive. So why squelch it?
Money, of course.
The National Hockey League said that they are implementing this ban to protect their rights holders, meaning they are protecting the people who have paid to broadcast National Hockey League playoff games, which is primarily NBC (at least in the USA).
But how big does NBC think Periscope is? Do they really think enough people are going to tune in to somebody’s shaky, handheld Periscope, vertical coverage of a hockey playoff game, instead of turning to that playoff game on television? Hockey is hard enough to follow on a HDTV, much less some guy’s iPhone in Row 65, Section K.
This is a ridiculous, knee-jerk reaction. I think they should be encouraging people to live stream. I think they should be saying, “Hey, let’s have a best Periscope contest during games.”
But here’s the other wrinkle. The NHL, of course, has their own Periscope account, now with 30,000+ followers. Guess who is allowed to broadcast games live on Periscope? The NHL. Maybe it’s not so much about “protecting broadcast rights” as it is “forced follower acquisition”?
MLB also concerned about Periscope
Major League Baseball has also come out and said they are concerned about fans streaming games. Given that the average baseball fan is aging faster than Willie Nelson, that seems like a very poor bit of decision-making.
PGA Tour bans reporter for Scopin’
Also the PGA Tour – also not exactly on fire with the youth demo – has banned a reporter after she Periscoped a non-televised practice round.
Floyd Mayweather’s team “robbed” by Periscope users
And of course, the folks at Top Rank Boxing, promoters of the fight that cost me $99.95 are outraged that thousands of people “saw” the fight for free via Periscope. These guys made hundreds of millions of dollars from suckers like me, so to complain about Periscope seems a bit petty. But, I can understand their gripe better than I understand the NHL’s. Giving away a $99.95 product is different (in my eyes) compared to “giving away” a free product that simply doesn’t contain ads that enrich your broadcast partners.
Maybe that’s the future? At this rate, Twitter is going to get sued for aiding and abetting. Maybe they decide to commercialize Periscope as a result, and develop technology for Periscope to include pre-roll and mid-roll ads that can be tied together with existing broadcast partners, to “protect” their rights, and satiate their blood lust?
Coming soon to your palm….Periscope TV?
Sprout Social Shoutout
Today’s Sprout Social Shotout is for my friend Julien Smith. Julien runs a terrific company that I’m delighted to be an investor in called Breather. Breather sets up small office spaces in big cities around the world, and you can go reserve your space for an hour or four hours, five hours; for a meeting, for yoga practice, for working on your lines, for sculpting, whatever you want to do. It all unlocks on your phone. It is fantastic.
The reason I mention it today is because Breather just launched in Boston. If you’re in Boston and you need a place to hang for a couple of hours, get some work done, do a conference call, check out Breather. The mobile app is super slick. You can get it at Breather.com.
This video is from Jay Today is my near-daily 3-minute video where I talk about social media, content marketing, business and life. JayToday is available on Youtube, iTunes (as a video podcast, and now as an audio podcast too), and at JayToday.tv. The show is sponsored by Sprout Social (which I use for my social media), and Candidio (a great video editing service).
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