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Discussion Starter #1
I want to share my frustration - a frustration many of you would no doubt share.

Before moving to Hong Kong in 1999, I lived in Sydney and Foxtel broadcast Serie A matches on ESPN. The coverage was pretty decent. When I moved to Hong Kong in 1999, the coverage was better - excellent in fact. There were as many channels broadcasting Serie A as their was Premier League matches - that was huge considering the very large English expat community that lives here. The Bundesliga hardly got a look in, they only bothered showing La Liga for El Classico.

OK, now fast forward to the present day.

Australia. OK, Serie A is only available through RAI International (the Italian channel) and the coverage is not great and they will only show 1 or maybe 2 matches over the weekend.

Hong Kong? Serie A? What Serie A. ZERO coverage for the 2nd year running. Premier League? There are 6 dedicated EPL channels. La Liga and Bundesliga are shown. Hell, J league is even broadcast.

Now, I know a little "inside" on all of thiss. You see, a good friend of mine is in agent who deals with the selling of sporting rights in Asia. He tells me the following: "Asian networks are willing to get Serie A but on their terms while the Italian football federation refuses to budge on price". There are 2 cable networks in HK and both don't NEED Serie A. So in the end its a mexican standoff and in the end, Serie A gives no rights to anyone and gets ZERO revenue.

Now here is the problem for Serie A. This is HONG KONG - ok its not quite greater China and China has different rights, but surely this is a market you need to be in long term. If Serie A doesn't screen for 2 years guess what happens? People forget about Serie A and they would have gravitated to another league.

Now, if no operator has rights to Serie A, there is no LEGAL means of watching Serie A. That is lost revenue on Serie A's part. Why not offer a legitimate streaming service over the internet and offer it to people for a price if you can't agree terms with a cable operator?

So I am now reduced to searching for sopcast or flash based streams on wiziwig.tv which are broadcast in Russian and are not all too reliable.

Italian football has a lot of problems and is not as great as it once was, sure I get it, but something tells me that the people in charge in ITALY are doing VERY LITTLE to help address a lot of these issues. I have no faith that the FIGC is doing anything proactive to help lift the league's profile around the world.
 

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A service available online would be amazing. A few years ago, serie a games were on espn3. This meant I could watch the games in the evening instead of trying to slot time whenever a match was scheduled. I know that is shooting for a high standard. While in no way on par, I subscribe to the MLS online service and the ability to watch replays of the games is the greatest feature. (One of the only positive things about the U.S. culture regarding soccer, is that I don't need to worry about hearing the results of a game I plan on watching later)

The ability to watch games online through the U.S. serie a rights holder, 'beIN Sport' is offered, but only if you have Time Warner or Brighthouse cable service. Neither of which are offered in my area. The fact that this is a possibility in some way gives me hope that within the next few seasons a true online option will be available again.

I even emailed 'beIN Sport' and asked if there was any way I could pay them for their online service instead of "finding" the game to watch. (aka; Please Shut Up and Take My Money). Unfortunately, nothing like this is available yet.
 

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Serie A's broadcasting rights have been mismanaged for a long time. I respect that they don't want to accept below their asking price, but it's in no one's interest to be stubborn about it. As you said Caten, holding firm only weakens their bargain powering in the long run as Serie A's profile continues to decrease in markets where they're absent.

The smart thing to do is agree to a deal, and then as Serie A's coverage steadily gains a solid viewership, increase the price incrementally until they get the type of money they're aiming for.

As things stand, they're only hurting Serie A's ability to generate interest internationally. I actually think people will tune in significant numbers if they were to get the chance to watch the games, especially the big clashes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think once bit torrent live comes off beta, these guys will be tought a painful lesson. The technology works much like a regular torrent but with streaming....where the speed actually increases the more uses tune in...and given that everyone who uses it is partially broadcasting it, there is no way you will shut it down.

Then you will see how cable operators and sports right holders end up shooting themselves in the foot by not thinking about what the customer wants but can't get even if they were willing to pay for it!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My view is, in this day and age, you should be able to watch any live sporting event if you are willing to pay for it. It's ridiculous that you cannot.
 

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Serie A's broadcasting rights have been mismanaged for a long time. I respect that they don't want to accept below their asking price, but it's in no one's interest to be stubborn about it. As you said Caten, holding firm only weakens their bargain powering in the long run as Serie A's profile continues to decrease in markets where they're absent.

The smart thing to do is agree to a deal, and then as Serie A's coverage steadily gains a solid viewership, increase the price incrementally until they get the type of money they're aiming for.

As things stand, they're only hurting Serie A's ability to generate interest internationally. I actually think people will tune in significant numbers if they were to get the chance to watch the games, especially the big clashes.
I agree with what you are saying, but I'm not sure I "respect" that they won't go below their asking price. If you are negotiating with 1 entity, and they won't give you what you want, you go to another. If nobody is willing to give you what you want, then your valuation is the problem.
 

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Well, i see your point and agree with it to a certain extent. However, if networks in other parts of the world figure out that there are markets where you're selling your tv rights for less than the asking price, they may start lowballing you themselves. Then you've just created another problem by trying to be flexible.

I honestly don't know much about the sale of sports tv rights, so what i've elicited might be a genuine concern or it may not be. But i'm not sure if it can be reduce to just demand and supply. At some point you have to create a cut off point, and what we don't know is if it's the league which is charging too much or the Asian networks which are offering too little. Although i suppose it's safe to assume it's likely somewhere in the middle.

I doubt they're asking anything close to the astronomical figures which the EPL sells for. However, there is something to said for balancing trying to increase the revenue and exposure of the league by selling the broadcasting rights, and retaining a price which reflects the value and quality of the product you're marketing as well.
 

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I think once bit torrent live comes off beta, these guys will be tought a painful lesson.
Depends where they are located, but this type of software will never come out of beta due to it being protected by staying in beta. It means no one can sue them cuz it's a beta software and the user assumes the risk.
 

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Serie A in England, meanwhile, appears to be taking off in many ways.

It's on BT Sport who are providing the service free to stream onto your computers for free as long as you subscribe to their internet service.

All you really need is a bloody big computer.

I wonder if it works on my internet tv. I'll check that now actually...
 

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Another year of streams.:(
 

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I would actually like to pay the rights holder. This is a service that I would be willing to shell out the money for. I feel like sending a donation to the league with a note about the streaming content I've been enjoying. Fortunately I realize what a terrible idea it is before following through.
 

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IPTV is the future if you have a provider in your area. I pay $35/month and has three networks that show Serie A including HD. Otherwise i'd be stuck with RAI international showing three games/week in prehistorical quality while paying $100/month for my cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Depends where they are located, but this type of software will never come out of beta due to it being protected by staying in beta. It means no one can sue them cuz it's a beta software and the user assumes the risk.
Actually, bit torrent live is a protocol. It can be used for legal means - i.e if you wanted to broadcast your kid's birthday to multiple people around the world. So there is no legal means to have it banned.

So its all about getting the Bittorrent live torrent if you will. The sites that share those torrents that broadcast events that breach copyright laws will be under scrutiny - ala pirate bay for instance. But you and I know, there are blogs etc which will have those torrent files shared.

Its only a matter of time when people will be able to watch anything they want for free using technology like Bit torrent live. This could have been avoided with a little common sense from the sports rights holders and the cable tv operators. For instance, if a sport is not being broadcast by any network in your country, there should be a direct medium that allows you to have it streamed at a price.

When sports rights are negotiated it is usually for "exclusive rights". That means that if say Comcast cable has the rights, no other 3rd party provider can stream it to people for another fee. However, if no exclusive rights have been signed, there should be no reason for you to have the choice to pay to watch it.
 

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Hopefully in the near future one can watch all Serie A games via the internet by paying for them individually or by various types of "season ticket" packages. It is indeed baffling why this is not available now.

I suspect that part of the problem is that the organisation which sells the rights is not the Lega or FIGC, but MP&Silva, the media agency which the Lega di Serie A - together with many other sporting bodies - uses to sell rights, especially abroad. Presumably, they have less interest in the overall commercial development of Serie A than the Lega does. Nevertheless, wouldn't it be relatively simple for the Lega to insert a clause in the contract requiring MP&Silva to make the games (or those ones which are not broadcast live on TV by a rights holder) available online in overseas territories?
 

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Hopefully in the near future one can watch all Serie A games via the internet by paying for them individually or by various types of "season ticket" packages. It is indeed baffling why this is not available now.

I suspect that part of the problem is that the organisation which sells the rights is not the Lega or FIGC, but MP&Silva, the media agency which the Lega di Serie A - together with many other sporting bodies - uses to sell rights, especially abroad. Presumably, they have less interest in the overall commercial development of Serie A than the Lega does. Nevertheless, wouldn't it be relatively simple for the Lega to insert a clause in the contract requiring MP&Silva to make the games (or those ones which are not broadcast live on TV by a rights holder) available online in overseas territories?
It might seem odd that having less people with access to the games is more profitable, but its true. The TV contract is where most of the money is made, and as soon as it's offered online, that contract goes down. The TV people aren't stupid, they know that being the only provider for the service makes the contract more valuable. League management may want to get the product out to more customers, but at how much less for the TV contract. The real possibility is that the TV provider with the exclusive rights sees it as profitable to provide an online service.

Bottom line, the league won't undercut their own TV sales contracts by directly providing an online service.
 

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Yes, I meant the rights holders to which MP&Silva sells the rights ought to broadcast the games they do not show on TV via internet stream, at a price, of course.
 

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Yes, I meant the rights holders to which MP&Silva sells the rights ought to broadcast the games they do not show on TV via internet stream, at a price, of course.
In that case, I'm in. Unfortunately, where I live, beINSport has the rights and their online access is only allowed for those with a cable subscription that already allows them access to the channel.

Maybe some of our frustration is misdirected towards the league when our problem lies with the service provider. To go a step further, our real problem seems to lie with the advertisers, who haven't caught up to spending the money to advertise on the online content.

Either the secondary providers aren't selling, or advertisers aren't buying, an acceptable fee for advertisements to the online content.
 
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