We're a little late in addressing this, but last week The Offside earned a golden ticket of recognition--a cease and desist letter from the Premier League (or perhaps The FA). Seems the League did not appreciate The Offside making it more famous by using team crests to identify the squads.
So, we'll probably be using crests like this one:
This post is not intended to discuss the legal merits of the League's position. But, I posit the question to the readers, does the EPL/FA's internet policy make sense? Are they approaching the internet in right manner or are they being obstinate and close-minded?
In my mind, the League's attempt to control every bit it can and wring every last cent/pence out of its product is short-sighted. I liken it to the schoolyard bully that beats up everybody until the victims decide to cooperate and fight back. The question is which victims will ban together and fight back.
There are two significant reasons the EPL internet policy is hogwash. First, the goal of the league is to expand the interest in it and the easiest way to that is to make it easier for potential fans to see the product. Luckily for the league, the internet came around when the EPL formed and was able to expand the reach of the league beyond the British Isles to the world. If it weren't for the internet, the league probably would have had a much harder time reaching the world.
Second, the current model of broadcast rights is an efficient model and the market hates inefficiencies. The league sells certain packages of games to different broadcasters that are not always available to every cable/directv/etc. subscriber. Additionally, the costs to watch these games are prohibitive for some. The internet compensates for these inefficiencies by making available the games for viewing--for free. If the league was smart it would develop a strategy that would capture this lost revenue and not attempt to just squash and redirect the viewership, which ultimately will mean less revenue for the league and less exposure. A double loser in business.
What say ye?