Video On The Web Has Sports Execs “Furious”

Video On The Web Has Sports Execs “Furious”

Business Insider’s Adam Fusfeld links to a Business Week article titled “Pro Sports vs the Web Pirates”. This further highlights what I’ve been pointing to in the form of an oncoming train that’s picking up speed and getting ready to smack the sports industry right in the face. Why aren’t more people in the sports business industry talking about this?

The article again points to the various sports league executives unsuccessfully taking legal action against the various Web presences that provide links to pirated streams. But the quotes from the league execs themselves paint a picture of business entities beginning to come to the realization that their Golden Goose may be cooked.

“It’s a game of Whac-A-Mole. We tell them to stop, they agree to stop, we look later, and they are back at it. This is not where we want to see growth.” – Gary Gertzog, NFL’s senior vice-president of legal and business affairs

and

“What keeps us up at night is piracy. If we have an Achilles’ heel, this is it.” -Lawrence Epstein, UFC’s general counsel.

and

“This makes me sick inside” – Edward Muncey, UFC’s Vice President of New Media and Technology

So here’s a quote from another article (with one word redacted):

The lawsuit is the latest front in what has become a quicksand-like terrain for the XXXXX industry, which has been aggressively fighting to maintain control over their copyrighted material as the Web and related technologies increasingly threaten to undermine their security.

The redacted word is “music” and that quote comes from a December 7, 1999 article on Napster being sued by the RIAA. A quick read of that article will show you the Web video revolution is playing out exactly like it did in the music industry. Even though that article is over a decade old, the content and quotes are scarily similar, in many cases verbatim. And we all know that did not turn out well for music industry incumbents.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.