Will Sports Teams Ban Cameraphones Next?
from the just-wondering dept
While Thierer goes back and forth on the legal issues (whether or not football stadiums are private or public places, for example), none of that really matters when you consider what a backwards policy it is. It may increase short-term revenue on the licensing side, but it likely limits the local coverage, and certainly removes more local interest coverage of issues that may not be covered by the "national" broadcast video. Thierer also raises the question of how this type of rule could make sense with changing technology. While it's easy to block big bulky cameras -- as camera technology gets better, how soon will it be until it's impossible to keep out a decent camera? And what if something interesting happens that a fan films with a portable video camera or a cameraphone? Will a news station be barred from showing it because it's not the "official" licensed clips? Sports leagues need to realize that they exist because of the fans, and a lot of those fans like to be more involved (sometimes a lot more) than just watching. Why not encourage everyone at the stadium, both professional and amateur, to record things, to share their own commentary and to get it spread around. It could help drive a lot more interest in the overall game -- which is a lot better for the bottom line in the long run. Instead, they're focused on maximizing one particular deal at the expense of everyone else.