Washington Post

TV’s Hold on Live Sports Faces New Threat

May 6, 2015  •  Post A Comment

Live sports, which has been a stronghold for traditional television even as online streaming and on-demand viewing gain market penetration, is facing a serious threat from new technology. The Washington Post reports that new live-streaming apps including Periscope and Meerkat put TV’s “golden egg” at risk.

“Just hold a smartphone up to a television to record and stream what’s airing, and suddenly piracy is easier than ever,” the article reports. “That stunning recognition arrived this past weekend when droves of boxing fans skipped the $100 pay-per-view fee and watched the much-anticipated match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao free Saturday evening.

The report adds: “Dozens of live streams of the fight were available through Periscope, and even though the app shut down 30 illegal streams, users gloated about their ability to watch.”

While media companies say their bottom line has yet to be damaged, some observers have voiced concerns.

Jesse Redniss, a co-founder of the media consulting firm BraveVentures, is quoted in the piece saying: “This is a breaking-of-the-dam moment because everyone has massively powerful computers in their hands that can shoot HD-quality video and live stream it to thousands of people simultaneously. There are major rights implications, and Periscope is treading over very thin ice because they have the ability to police the streams.”

Please click on the link near the top of this story to read the Post’s in-depth report.

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