Live Streaming and Live Sport on a Collision Course

periscope  meerkat

As has been predicted by many within the sports marketing industry, the days of using live streaming apps such as Periscope and Meerkat at live sporting events look numbered.

Last week, in a move to protect the exclusivity of its broadcasting rights contracts, the NHL announced that the use of live streaming apps at NHL matches is a violation of the TV rights deal. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly stated:

We have been advised that certain individuals attending NHL games pursuant to credentialed access are streaming live footage from inside NHL arenas before, during and after NHL games using technology offered by companies such as Periscope and Meerkat.  As a reminder, NHL media credentials prohibit any “unauthorized use of any transmission, picture or other depiction or description of game action, game information, player interview or other arena activity . . . without prior written approval of” NHL or the team as applicable.

Without limiting the generality of the credential language, any streaming of footage in violation of the NHL’s Broadcast Guidelines (including, for example, live streaming inside the arena less than 30 minutes before the start of the game) and Media Access Policy is expressly prohibited.

It remains to be seen whether other governing bodies of sport will follow suit and issue official guidance regarding the use of Periscope and Meerkat at live events.

Sports franchises are, however, expected to continue to utilise live video streaming apps to reach new audiences in real-time, providing fans with exclusive, direct access to press conferences, interviews and competitions.

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