Will U2 Set Path For YouTube And TV Sports Events?

The NFL's blackout rule is not in effect in the Rose Bowl this Sunday. There is no need for it -- no one is playing football.  

The event is a music concert by U2, and the popular Irish band has sold out all of the Rose Bowl's 96,000 seats.  With that in mind, the band will stream an entire concert live on YouTube this weekend -- free.

NFL has a TV blackout rule for its football teams when they can't sell out their home stadiums. So far big musical acts haven't figured out how to incorporate this into their business models.

But musicians may be way ahead in this area -- giving away lots of their content (either voluntarily or otherwise), all with different degrees of sales performance results. Some bands, such as  Rage Against the Machine, have left it in the hands of fans to decide what to pay for a new album.

This isn't the first time U2 has decided to give up more of its content for free than is typical. A couple of months ago, the band appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman" and, for an entire week, played all its songs from a new album.



All this seems against the tide of where online content -- especially premium TV, video and movies -- may be headed.  Increasingly content owners have been strongly mulling having viewers pay fees for TV shows -- as well as having them wade through advertising messages.

But one wonders whether there won't be new permutations, especially for big events.

Will the NFL get around to streaming the Super Bowl?

Over the last few years, CBS has found out that streaming college basketball games online during the NCAA Tournament has been a big boon to business, without interfering with revenue from traditional TV airings.

In about two and half months from now, another big football event, the BCS college championship football game, will be played at the Rose Bowl.  ABC will televise. That'll be another sold-out event for sure.

Is there room on YouTube?


1 comment about "Will U2 Set Path For YouTube And TV Sports Events? ".
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  1. Jamie Hayes from NPA, October 21, 2009 at 5:14 p.m.

    Interesting. It was Radiohead that let the consumer decide what they should pay for the album....not Rage Against The Machine. Nine Inch Nails also gave away their last release for free online.

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