back to article The hole in the copy-proof fence

The value of live sports sponsorships isn’t going to collapse overnight, regardless of the dire predictions made in the wake of last week’s decision in the Optus TV Now case. The judgment, that TV Now is legal, has been greeted with the usual response from the plaintiffs (the Australian Rugby League and the Australian Football …


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Anonymous Coward

You forgot to mention who owns Foxtel

Your comment on Foxtel being allowed to timeshift but Optus not being allowed overlooks the little fact of who owns Foxtel. Go on, look it up. Then look up who owns Optus.

Does it make more sense now?

Suggesting that the law needs to change just shows how much the politicians have sold their souls. Note I said politicians. I don't believe there is any notable difference between any of them.


I Have To Agree

The fundamental mistake that the ARL/AFL made was to try and do an exclusive deal for the internet as a seperate delivery medium to the normal TV broadcast system.

I recently wanted to listen to the cricket test. The ABC normally broadcasts cricket but I had no radio where I was. That's not a problem however because the ABS also streams online.

Except for the cricket they don't and I assume that this is because they don't have the online streaming rights.

I gave up at that point and decided not to put in any more effort because I wasn't <i>that</i> interested and I know from past experience that the people who probably own "the rights" are Channel 9 (TV station) and their commentary is absolutely worthless without the accompanying video feed because they don't describe the cricket, they just talk crap about what they had for lunch and maybe mention noteworthy activity on the field when they get bored.

The fault for this state of affairs lies with Cricket Australia (as well as the AFL/ARL et al).

They should sell the complete set of rights to whoever pays the is the highest bidder.

The winning bidder then has an exclusive right to insert advertising into their presentation of the game.

From there on <i>it should not matter how the presentation is delivered to the viewer as long as the advertising remains intact</i>

When this happens this whole sorry subject becomes moot.


The problem with that

is they want to sell the same exclusive rights to more then one company so they need walls. As soon as the www gets into it their business model falls apart.

If Channel 9 have the rights in your area, but they suck, and you can get it form some other area where they don't suck that's what you will do even if the ads are for stuff you can't buy.

Now Channel 9 are all butt hurt because they paid for exclusive rights (so don't need to compete on price or quality) and think they own you.

Look at stuff like iTunes where I can only buy from my local site. I can't buy something from iTunes Japan because the wrong exclusive rights holder gets the cash, even if that means I can't buy it at all because it's not available from the local site. And they don't even have advertisements, it's the exact same file.


what's Telstras problem?

I thought Telstra signed these stupid deals to provide this content to Telstra customers. TV Now is an Optus only service that to stream to phones, needs a handset on the Optus mobile captacular network.

Most people with half a brain know that the quality of streaming video to devices on the 3G network is completely rubbish anyway. WIFI is fine, but 3G is just terrible and just so not worth the time, effort and bandwidth. Most people try it once, take a look, think 'yeah, ok' and then rarely use it again.

Optus customers, streaming recorded tv (including AFL) from this service to their phones is not stealing customers away from Telstra, or infringing on whatever stupidly over priced deal they signed with the AFL (who we all know must have been pissing themselves laughing when that was agreed to as it seems like a number pulled out of thin air).

I just don't get Telstras point of view. They bought these rights surely for Telstra customers. They have no right to force phone users on competing carriers just what they can and cannot do with their own service.

Deal with it Telstra, you wasted money on this service, you know it. You had a similar service in the labs but never had the foresight to implement it and now you're just hurting because via some twisted Telstra logic, you think Optus TV Now customers are stealing from you.


The carrier's problem

@Spagman the problem is that the value to a carrier of these exclusive deals is that they can differentiate their brand. You don't only make money out of selling the service (assuming you sell it instead of giving it away), you make money out of people churning to you because you provide a better set of value-add services.

Sure, it doesn't make a difference to the broadcasters since there are just as many eyes seeing the content. But it does massively erode the value to the telco or ISP. In a world where bitstreams are commoditised, you differentiate on the services you provide on top of that (and network quality, customer service, etc).

So the value to Telstra (in this case, others could do the same thing to Optus with the Tennis, for instance), is the exclusivity. Take it away and the value drops considerably.


Carrier's Problem

The big guy (or sometimes two that pretend to compete) grab up all the exclusive deals and exclude any upstarts from entering the market. No need to compete on price or service if your the only game in town.

Exclusive deals suck for the public, they are only good for the big carriers.


and into the future...

Thinking on this ... think forward a few years.. smartphones with PVRs / tuners built in? Ironically as it stands it is possible to program Foxtel (part owned by Telstra of course) via telephone or web.

How long before I can stream that back to my phone or pad thing long before my phone or pad is the PVR?

The broadcasters and content owners need to think ahead not look back to good old days!

Thumb Up

@ceebee -- Of course, that's the logical conclusion.

Even if the law isn't reversed (which I expect it to be), then how long do you think it will be before every smartphone has a tuner/recorder built in?

I'll bet the prototypes are finished already.

Silver badge

3g streaming

As far as the AusOpen Tennis goes, I assume it isn't the streaming which optus want, but the right to splatter their name all over the event. The chance of seeing a tennis ball at 200km/h on a phone screen is probably rather low.

Actually, Foxtel/Telstra probably regards Optus' streaming of the games to their own customers as stealing because theoretically, fewer customers may become Telstra/Foxtel customers if Optus carry on like this. In line with the current climate, "theft" means, "my business model doesn't work because of you" rather than the unauthorised removal of an item.

I'd be curious to know what happens if TV rights value did collapse. If the major players received half their current salaries, would that be a problem?

The AFL administration might be a bit upset, but I suspect the TV networks would just get the same coverage for less. Perhaps that's the problem, Telstra don't want iiNet to be able to afford to join the sports sponsorship game. In today's economy, its usually the best-promoted mousetrap, not the best built mousetrap which wins - just ask Mr Cowell from the music business.


Bad example with Foxtel.

Foxtel is just as bad. Try using their services on non-Foxtel hardware; can't be done. You want to watch their shows, you need to do it on *their* hardware (and I don't mean just the smart-card - I mean the entire bloody PVR box).

Which means that if you try to build a single HTPC which will handle playing your BD, DVDs and MKVs, you *still* can't watch the programs you have paid for by simply taking the smart-card from your Foxtel box and placing it in the HTPC's CAM.

Company lock-ins are getting out of control.

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