The Big Ten vs. The SEC: Embracing Fans vs. Shutting Them Up

from the which-one-is-better? dept

Last week we wrote about how the Southeastern Conference (SEC), a big college sports division was looking to limit how fans could interact with the world while at games. Michael Kruse, at the St. Petersburg Times did an excellent analysis of this move (and I don't just say that because he quoted me), talking about how it's really about the SEC trying to prevent the genie of "fancasting" events from getting out of the bottle, because exclusive broadcast contracts are so lucrative. While a short-sighted economic analysis by SEC officials may think this makes sense, perhaps other college sports divisions see this as an opportunity to pick up fans. CitMediaLaw points out a comparison showing that another division, The Big Ten, seems to take a very different approach, not just encouraging fans to use social media tools to broadcast their views and thoughts, but also providing linkable and embeddable videos and content to make it even easier. Admittedly, college sports fandom often has more to do with where you personally attended, but you have to think that enabling fans to help promote you is going to be a better long term strategy for building up fan loyalty than trying to actively stifle their ability to express themselves and promote the teams and events. How enthusiastic are SEC fans going to be, if every time they try to talk up their favorite team, the league threatens to sue them?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    a Fan, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 3:14am

    Watching, participating

    The SEC should talk to the Chinese government. I heard they have a lot of experience building custom filters and firewalls.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    bob, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 3:17am

    Right hand, left hand

    This is, of course, the same Big 10 that set up their own cable network promising wide coverage of secondary sports, then played hardball with the cable providers by using the network to lock up conference football games until the providers paid a fee per subscriber - whether the subscriber got the channel or not. (Not that the cable cos. are particularly admirable...) After a couple of years where the only way to see conference games was on satellite or in a sports bar (depending on where you lived), the price came down, cablecos now carry - and we get endless replays of old football games and "campus features." Still no minor sports coverage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 4:32am

    Wow Mike, you missed this one in a couple of ways.

    You are looking at Fancasting (live reporting) versus blogging / talking about a game afterwords. Not exactly the same thing. Second, and this is just as important, by providing only selected clips and such to work with, the SEC is also moving to "control the memories" by pushing people towards only selected events in the game.

    It isn't any different, they just didn't make a bold mission statement type press release about it.

    You worry about "investigative reporting", and yet you are showing that bloggers don't even read the news handed to them on a platter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 4:46am

    You can bet that the SEC play by play will be covered ad naseum on twitter by people they have pissed off.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    ..., Aug 18th, 2009 @ 5:04am


    Wow, AC.
    You really missed it on this one.
    Did you even read the article?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re:

    Yes I read the article. The videos available will be selected, not the whole deal will be available. if they want to "fancast" the event, they can go ahead, but the video portion will happen after the event, not during.

    What else did I miss?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The bit where if fans feel they have to do their own fancasting then the SEC is already failing them by not doing it them selves in the first place?

    The bit where suing said fans is likely to turn them into ex-fans

    The bit where the guy who paints his face funny at matches isn’t likely to give a rats ass what some lawyer thinks and the guy with a funny face is your customer

    The bit where face painty guy is more likely to connect to fellow fans getting bashed by this than the board members doing the bashing, losing you more fans

    The bit where providing tools (OK not the actual fancasting tools) and saying in general “all is cool – support away” is likely to help you retain your fan base?

    The point?

    Go Tigers!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All that and YOU missed the point.

    SEC is controlling the memories the same as the other group, they are just allowing the users to THINK they are controlling it. Only certain clips will be available, so in the end, the memories are controlled from above.

    It's the same thing, instead of a horse cart, you have a cart with a horse. Big deal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    NastyButler, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    Admiral Tarkin

    To paraphrase Princess Leia, "The more you tighten your grip, the more fans will slip through your fingers."

    AC do you work for the SEC PR dept? Why should fans be told what they should remember? Why not let them decide what memories they want to preserve and share?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Bryan Price (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 8:02pm

    As a Big 10 fan living in an SEC state...

    I only have one thing to say:

    Go Bucks!

    Carry on!

    (now plotting return to Columbus this fall...)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 12:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Erm OK but I didn't read anywhere that The Big Ten will be suing if other content is used from outside their tools

    So how is that the same as the SECs approach?

    If indeed The Big Ten are also pursuing a sue happy approach then that doesn't make the SEC any less wrong - it just makes them both as bad

    But I don't see anywhere where The Big Ten are doing this?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    darkcooger, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 1:23pm

    SEC fans are ravenous

    The vast majority of SEC fans don't care about the new policy, don't know about the new policy, and aren't affected by it anyway. Even if they did know, did care, and hated it, they'd still be SEC fans during football season.

    Most fans of SEC schools don't like the SEC anyway. They're always meddling in everything. But hey, those huge TV contracts find their way to the member schools and at the end of the day, that's the SEC's whole purpose.

    I'll be surprised if this rule is enforced. I imagine it's just verbiage to satisfy ESPN and CBS, kind of like how the "artificial noisemaker" ban was just to get a certain head coach to stop whining.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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