If you’d asked me last week what I thought I’d be doing this week, the answer would not have included “writing and talking about the future of the major sporting codes as televisions events”. But I wrote this thing in the newspaper…
Last week federal court judge Justice Steven Rares ruled that Optus’ TV Now service, which allows customers to record free-to-air TV and have it streamed back to their smartphone, tablet or computer at a more convenient time, was a legal form of time-shifting under section 111 of the Copyright Act 1968.
Even if competing telco Telstra had a supposedly-exclusive deal with the Australian Football League (AFL) to stream live video coverage of matches to smartphones. Even if the delay between an Optus customer starting to record a game and playing it back was just two minutes.
Telstra is paying the AFL $153 million over five years for this now-not-so-exclusive streaming right. Optus pays the AFL nothing, because they’re just providing a technical service through which individual customers make their own “solely for private and domestic use” recordings.
The Sydney Morning Herald commissioned me to write an opinion piece that was published this morning, Sport has to think outside the box. Do please read it. It seem to have struck a chord, because I’ve received a lot of compliments.
The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. But these program items usually aren’t archived on their website so here it is. And I will of course suggest that you listen to Linda Mottram’s morning program regularly.
I’m thinking of writing up some of my thoughts on how future sporting coverage could be done technically. Meanwhile, do you feel as I do that the days of cashed-up major sporting codes are about to end?
[Update 8 February 2012, 1015: The Sydney Morning Herald has published a follow-up piece this morning by rugby legend Roy Masters. Court has gambled with codes’ futures. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to draw me a diagram of what the fuck he’s talking about.]