Now Sporting Leagues Think Sling Needs Their Permission To Innovate
from the permission-to-innovate dept
What is it about Sling Media that makes everyone else think they need to give it "permission" for the company to offer its place shifting offering? The company offers a little box that hooks up to your TV and lets you "place shift" your TV service to a computer or mobile device using their software. It's a clear case of fair use, where someone is making use of the content they have legal access to... and everyone's upset. First it was the mobile operators who for some reason wanted Sling to sign deals with them, when there was no reason to. If people had mobile data access and a compatible mobile device, that's all that was needed. Next, were the broadcasters. The TV industry is supposed investigating its options with Sling Media, while HBO has already indicated it might sue. Who else might be annoyed? How about sports leagues? Yup. That's right. All the various sports leagues are apparently concerned about what this could mean for them. The fear is that someone who legally has a subscription to watch games in NY, will hook it up to his TV and (horror of horrors!) be able to still watch the same game when he's traveling in California. Why this is a problem is not clear. The guy is still paying for the content, and Sling is actually making that content more valuable by making it so the guy can use it in more ways. The sports leagues should be thrilled about this, rather than worried.