This week has seen much comment on New Zealand’s Sky Television not having the rights to the English Premier League (EPL) football for the next three seasons.
This will be shown on the internet for subscribers in New Zealand in what is seen as a bit of a first for a major sporting series not being shown on either pay or standard TV.
For me this is an example of a newer technology potentially upending the status quo.
Live sport over the web isn’t new by any stretch, and for those of use with some octane in our veins, events like the Le Mans 24 Hour race have to be watched on the internet because the major TV networks will at best show “highlights” sometime after the event, if you can call one hour of crashes out of a 24 hour event “highlights”. The reason in my view that people took notice of the EPL deal is because it is a bit more of a mainstream sport and is apparently the most watched sport competition in the world.
This Sunday morning I’m able to not only see the timing at Le Mans but also video, sound, interviews, twitter feeds and a timeline of past events. Fat chance, a TV network, even Sky being able to dedicate a channel to one event, even if it is one of the premier sporting events in the world. This is where the internet is just great for those that can by-pass someone else’s timetable.
The downside of internet sports and other events over TV viewing are the lag of poor broadband and the lack of knowledge of those that aren’t into the internet, or people who have not learnt how to use their computers. Also, watching something for a long time on a small screen is not appealing compared to watching a full sized TV.
Content is king and I’m sure the people in TV land will have a plan to increase their web presence to counter what they may see as a threat to their content.
In the meantime I’m sure more content will shift to different providers on the web and as competition is good for us as consumers this will be a good thing.
Now, to check back in on the racing which you can check out on http://www.lemans.org/en/ and by searching for Le Mans on Twitter.
Commiserations to the family and friends of Allan Simonsen.