We've mentioned several times about how sports leagues are trying to crack down
on unauthorized web streams of their games. It's a misguided effort that fails to recognize the opportunity
here: people watch these streams because they generally don't
have other options. Largely, they're not cheapskate pirates, but underserved customers. With that in mind, it was nice to see a story in the WSJ a few days back talking about how some American leagues' subscription streaming services are enjoying success
. They've figured out that by offering users a better service than the pirate streams, they can get them to pay subscription fees. This gets to the heart of so many different industries' battles against piracy: it's not a technological problem that exists because there are inadequate locks for content, it's a business problem that exists because many companies are too complacent to develop services that deliver consumers content they want in a format they desire.