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Friday, August 7, 2009

SEC to Ban Media from Shooting Video

Lest you think the new mega-deal between ESPN and the SEC was simply going to benefit your lives and increase coverage, there comes this news, via an AP story...

The Southeastern Conference is expected to impose rules that prohibit the news media from posting video from games, practices and news conference.

The rules also limit televised highlights from games.

They were released to member schools on Thursday and a copy was obtained by The Tuscaloosa News, which reported the new policies Friday.

SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said the new restrictions are designed to protect the league's agreement with XOS Technologies for a new digital network.

Bloom said the policy is subject to change. It limits TV stations from carrying clips of longer than three minutes and allows highlights to be aired for only 72 hours after a game ends.

The SEC Digital Network is expected to launch in time for the upcoming football season.
What does it all mean? Well, for one, no more videos on this blog of practice or player interviews, but that's really just the start.

As teams, conferences and leagues expand their multimedia platforms, these things will continue to occur. (And they already have in other places, including the NFL.) The thought among many of these organizations is that you, as fans, don't care. They think you'll be satisfied with the controlled information you are given from them -- essentially replacing the media with a public relations firm.

Maybe that's true, but I'm guessing after your favorite team gets spanked by a rival, you're not looking for the watered-down version of what happened. Perhaps you really don't care where the information is coming from, but my guess is that you value quality journalism a lot more than they give you credit for. Maybe you go to one place and one place only for your news. But I'd be willing to bet the majority of you have gotten used to being able to surf a few dozen sites to get a broad view of Georgia football.

Look, I know things are changing for the media. I've been as vocal about the problems of the newspaper business as anyone. But for all our problems, I'm pretty certain that most fans appreciate the work most of us do -- even if they don't necessarily like all of it. And if you don't things like this will seriously affect the coverage you get of your favorite teams, you're being extremely naive.

If you want to read more about this, including the agreement the SEC wants media members to sign, the Tuscaloosa News has all the details.


Beave said...

So no more YouTube videos showing highlights of games as well?

David Hale said...

Not from credentialed media at least.

Bernie said...

So we get more games on tv, but micromanaged media coverage.

I guess I always knew Lee Corso and Chuck Dowdle were related.

Shoaib Ashraf said...

I can't believe these media stipulations. I wonder how long this will go on before readers/ viewers begin to object. ESPN brings both good and bad to the table. It's great we'll go so much coverage BUT only on their terms.

gene said...

Who exactly do we need to start complaining about this to? SEC commish, espn, who? This smacks so much of First Amendment infringement I can barely stand it. Are we now supposed to trust only the SEC for all our sports news?

David Hale said...

ESPN isn't directly affiliated with this decision, though it's sort of a trickle-down situation from their deal. If you really want to voice your opinion, however -- and I'd encourage that -- definitely get in touch with the SEC.

Anonymous said...

This kind of information control makes me wonder if the White House isn't behind this policy. It sounds like something they would do. What's next turn in your neighbor for recording the game?!

PTC DAWG said...

1st Amendment infringement? What are you folks talking about? The 1st Amendment addresses Congress and our Federal Gov making laws infringing on your rights.

Espn and the SEC can agree on most anything. Address them if you have a problem, but unless you want to be thought an uneducated gomer from the South, don't reference the 1st Amendment in your complaint.

David Hale said...

PTC Dawg, I beg to differ... the 1st Amendment covers the freedom of the press, and that's what's at stake here. Georgia and 10 other SEC institutions are tax payer-funded public institutions, and the press's right to report on the happenings in those places is the very basis of the freedom of the press covered in the 1st Amendment.

PS -- I'm not from the South.