According to Mashable, the SEC is banning all social media from their games.
While it’s understandable that the SEC wants to protect the value of the CBS contract, banning all social media seems not only unenforceable, but also counter-productive. I can’t count the number of times I’ve turned on a sporting event after seeing friends update their status or upload a picture. By barring social media, much of that would be lost (though couch-side commentators would still be tweeting of course).
The SEC’s move is not unprecedented in the world of sports, however. One could debate what’s implied about social media when Major League Baseball says during telecasts that “any rebroadcast, reproduction or other use of this game without the express written consent of Major League Baseball is prohibited,” though so far it seems that tweeting and photo uploads remain permissible. Meanwhile, at this year’s US Open, I was rather surprised to learn that both phones and cameras weren’t allowed on premises, making any form of social media inaccessible.
For the moment, these policies seem a lot more grounded in fear than reality. Sure, these days someone could theoretically live stream a game from their camera phone. But a shaky, low resolution video from the upper deck of Yankee Stadium isn’t exactly the same as watching FOX’s telecast on your big screen TV. Social media should be viewed a fantastic compliment to sports that is good for both fans and the TV networks, but at the moment, it seems that’s anything but how it’s being perceived.
I didn’t think someone could be more stupid than the RIAA when it came to teh interwebs. Apparently, I was wrong.