Less Than Fair Play: Southeastern Conference Will STILL Limit Real-Time Bloggers
As for fans or other ticket holders, the SEC now says that "personal messages and updates of scores or other brief descriptions" of games are okay, but that "real-time descriptions" aren't. That line appears impossibly blurry to draw, much less enforce. But fans who cross it, even if inadvertently, appear to risk landing in court. Also, the SEC now says that fans who take photos can post them to Flickr or other sites, but can't sell them.
Additionally, the organization is attempting to limit professional news organizations from reporting online about the games. The group has asked media outlets to agree to a host of restrictive terms; among others, the SEC wants media companies to refrain from blogging during games, and to limit their use of photos and video online.
So far, Gannett and the Associated Press have refused to agree to the conditions, according to Editor & Publisher.
Clearly, the SEC clearly believes it has money at stake. Last year, the conference signed deals with CBS and ESPN, according to The New York Times.
But private agreements can't prevent media companies or private citizens from reporting on the news -- and there's no serious question that sporting events are newsworthy.
Besides, is there any reason to think that an AP reporter's blog of a game would somehow detract from another news organization's blog? If anything, more commentators competing with each other for eyeballs should result in better quality coverage all-around. And for fans who can't get enough sports, the more real-time commentary the better.