Sports Fans Want TV Everywhere -- And Every Way

Sports fans, claiming that local TV blackout rules are anti-competitive to their viewing pleasure, say that individual teams and their regional networks or broadcast stations should be able to compete with each other. So if you live in Los Angeles and want to buy and see an individual New York Yankees or New York Mets home game, you should be able to do so.

A U.S. District judge in New York believes these fans have a right to proceed with an anti-competitive case against Comcast, Time Warner, DirecTV, a number of sports teams and regional TV networks in regards to Major League Baseball and National Hockey League telecasts.

Of course, out-of-market games are available -- at a price. But sports fans don't like that program distributors are forcing them to also buy a bunch of other games.  If you are a New York Yankees fan living in Dallas, you may just want to see individual Yankees games and nothing else.

Although a package of out-of-market games is available Judge Shira Scheindlen said that shouldn't prevent "individual teams from competing to sell their games outside their home territories in the first place."

Modern consumers want stuff anywhere and anytime, with not a lot of fuss -- and not a lot of packaging. You want to see or buy one episode of ABC's "Castle" from a year ago? You can do that.

Given the high price of maintaining and paying sports TV fees -- which in turn are monetized by the likes of Comcast, Time Warner and DirecTV -- you can be sure the distributors won't go down without a fight. DirecTV’s $224 price tag, for example, covers a package of 80 out-of-market games each week, including up to 40 games in HD. Sounds like a good moneymaker.

The National Hockey League already has its own troubles, as it now faces its second cancellation of an entire season in eight years. Again, the issue is all about million-dollar players looking to gain more for billionaire owners. Seems this time around sports fans might also want a hand in this, which will perhaps take some money out of the mix.

Another problem, tangentially connected, is that maybe those fans won't come back to the sport in the same degree they did last time around.

TV everywhere, anywhere, and any which way. Viewers are demanding it -- and calling out big sports leagues about it.

Tags: sports, tv
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7 comments about "Sports Fans Want TV Everywhere -- And Every Way".
  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , December 6, 2012 at 3:29 p.m.
    And non sports watchers do not want to pay for those who want to watch what they don't.
  2. John Watkins from Watcom , December 6, 2012 at 3:57 p.m.
    To me this is some of the problem with cable tv. Why do I have to pay for the golf channel when I'm not interested. I see the same thing with sports. If I don't want to watch the red sox games why to I have to pay for them.
  3. Jonathan Merrihew from Local News , December 6, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.
    GREAT ARTICLE WAYNE ! I think the two people above me have the wrong idea here. I dont know of any service provider that forces people to pay extra for a sports package they dont want. I want to watch the NHL or NFL but cant afford the "center ice" or "sunday ticket" packages. Instead I'm forced to buy a bundle of extra sports channels that include just NHL network and NFL network which may only have a few extra games per week. I'm paying for a slew of channels I'll never watch and for the extra coverage on my favorite sports. Most of my favorite teams are out of my market and would jump at the oppurtunity to pay per watch of their games !!!!!!!!!
  4. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston , December 6, 2012 at 4:09 p.m.
    Sports fans help subsidize those who only watch Lifetime and HGTV, and vice versa. Golf fans subsidize other sports and other sports subsidize golf. It's called cross-subsidization. If everyone only paid for their own channels, the cable operators could gouge viewers of each channel. One-size-fits-all seems to work well because no one watches everything but everyone needs access to everything to pay the group discount price. Granted, sports channels make up half the cost of cable, but so, too, do non-sports shows. As for blackouts, quit complaining and buy a Slingbox. Send it to your friend in a city with blackouts and stream the video back to your home. http://saintpetersblog.com/2012/09/wanna-beat-the-bucs-blackout-buy-a-slingbox/
  5. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston , December 6, 2012 at 4:10 p.m.
    er....Send it to your friend in a city WITHOUT blackouts
  6. Jonathan Merrihew from Local News , December 6, 2012 at 4:21 p.m.
    cross-subsidization. interesting...
  7. Chuck Floramo from Harpo Productions Inc , December 6, 2012 at 6:39 p.m.
    I would like to use my phone and pad as a wireless tv someday, and be able to see ANYTHING from ANYWHERE. I miss the days when I could watch a football game on a walkman tv using batteries from anywhere I could get a signal. We've come so far, but not really. Now it all costs too much and "wireless receivers" need hdmi cable to the set??? Really??