Is There A Future for Live Streaming Applications in Sports?

In Entertainment, Social Media, Tech by UFSocial Staff

by Megan Washington, UFSocial Contributor

Pic: Jimmy Baikovicius via CC BY-SA 2.0

While live streaming applications are offering a variety of possibilities to sports, it is causing concern for those who broadcast them since they pay large sums of money for the rights to disseminate material. Governing the behavior of users who do broadcast this type of material seems to be a nightmare. To be clear, Periscope’s terms of service prohibit the broadcasting of copyrighted content without permission.

One particular event that brought live streaming applications like Periscope and Meerkat into question was the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. The pay-per-view netted a record $400 million for Showtime and HBO, but I’m sure the broadcasters wonder how much more money they could have made if people had not watched it for free. Infact the networks filed lawsuits against illegal feeds.

The Rousey-Correia UFC fight was another event that brought live streaming piracy into question. The fight lasted a mere thirty-four seconds and concluded with Rousey knocking Correria out cold with a big right hand. A number of fans took to Twitter to say they did not want to pay the price of a pay-per-view for a main event that was so incredibly short.

The position of major sports organizations on live streaming:

  • A number of European soccer clubs like Manchester United have placed bans on the use of tablet devices on their grounds.
  • Major League Baseball has no intention of limiting a fan’s use of social media, including live streaming.
  • The NBA prohibits media members from live streaming anything other than press conferences.
  • The NFL points out that there are rules and restrictions printed on game tickets so the holder is aware that they are not able to transmit or aid in transmitting any photographs, images, videos or other accounts or descriptions in any media of all or any portion of the game or related events. The NFL’s policy does not end with just the fans; teams are not authorized to broadcast either.
  • The NHL prohibits any unauthorized use of any transmission, picture or other depiction or description of the game action, game information, player interview or other arena activity without prior written approval of the NHL or the team.
  • The PGA Tour revoked a reporter’s credentials this past May for using Periscope to broadcast a practice round.

Despite the piracy issues, one opportunity that live streaming does offer the different leagues, through official channels, is the ability to take a fan behind the scenes for an unparalleled look into a team, athlete or sport. In essence, live streaming can be used as a new marketing tool to enhance a fan’s experience. Live streaming offers users the chance to make comments and ask questions to those who are filming, creating a much more immersive and personal real-time experience than other social tools. For sports that are not as mainstream and shown on television, live streaming offers the opportunity of exposure and to connect with a brand new audience.

Carlos Pena Retires Via Periscope

The Tampa Bay Rays streamed Carlos Pena’s retirement press conference live via Periscope in September 2015


What are some of your favorite accounts to follow via live streaming on mobile devices?

About the Author

UFSocial Staff