Football and the problem with its real tweets
Let’s be clear – while this whole licensing
issue may not be sorted in time for this season, it will not go away.
If you’re unsure what I’m going on about,
have a read of Chris Lakey’s EDP column from Saturday which explains it all
Basically, the Pinkun.com ‘third man’
coverage – in fact, any supposed live internet coverage from a newspaper or the
such – is banned.
It’s buy a PA feed or starve, say DataCo –
the licensing body and, unsurprisingly, partners with… the Press Association.
We are still working on a way of trying to bring
you live updates on what is happening with City – as should be expected from a local
media group – without annoying anyone.
However, we have also been warned Twitter
updates still count as publication and, unless we keep to our licensed windows –
which is one publication, or tweet, every 10 minutes – we’ll run the risk of
being booted out of games completely.
Fact, fiction, opinion or simply answering
a question… they all count. So it seems freedom of speech isn’t quite so free
on Twitter during a football match.
And this is why, however long the debate
rumbles on, the corner DataCo are backing newspapers into is, to be quite
honest, a dreamland.
Firstly, not one fan at Carrow Road,
Bramall Lane or Turf Moor next season will stop sending their tweets because
they already did one nine minutes ago. To have one rule for the public and one
for the media is hypocritical and, in the long run, unworkable.
And now dear old Vital Norwich – a website
I used to edit while I did my journalism qualifications – has promised live
updates, presumably from listening to the radio because they won’t be at the
ground, therefore with nothing to lose in filling part of the void left by the
seemingly destined Pinkun live blackout.
I have no problem with Vital doing this – I
tried to do something similar while I was on it – but it’s another big flashing
light that DataCo have got their entire attitude wrong on web coverage.
The answer is straightforward for me. DataCo
have a responsibility to license coverage – not ban it. So produce a workable
Can you imagine BBC Radio Norfolk being
told they can only do live commentary so long as Chris Goreham is locked in a
cupboard and they use a DataCo supplied, dull as dishwater and often inaccurate
voiceover man? Ridiculous.
Makes you think next time you want to tweet
updates from the football – although you should be all right as long as you’re
not in the press box.
The issue will not go away, I’m sure, until
people start getting real about the internet, football and the fact people,
wherever they are, want to join in discussing it and enjoying it.
Words and opinions are not the same as
sounds and pictures, TV or radio. The web is a completely different animal and
needs to be treated as such.
DataCo, and most likely some of the
Football League and Premier League clubs, will say their actions are about
protecting their intellectual property rights – which apparently means independent
coverage of sporting events now amounts to somewhere between piracy and
How can the fans and tweeters steal what we
all have a share in?
posted on 19 July 2010 17:51 byMichael Bailey - Sportsdesk