Today’s blog entry has been inspired by a web site called Livefootie.com which for a lifetime joining fee of £4.95 will show any live Premier League, as well as French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese football matches that are being broadcast, this may be great news for those who do not wish to subscribe to subscription or pay-per-view sports channels – but it is not such great news for the channels themselves, or the football clubs that rely on television revenue. This is not the only site offering such services, another site called Live Footy offer a free service but to fewer channels. The main ethical consideration that many of us simply choose to ignore when utilising such services is the fact that somebody somewhere has taken the time to create the entertainment that we download for free, and our not-paying-for-it means reduced revenues for media companies which in turn means reduced royalties to artists and entertainers.
The music industry have finally cottoned on to the fact that people are downloading more and buying less, and so have sites like iTunes and other music download sites are beginning to appear. The TV industry is also catching on to this, and in the US certain TV programs can now be downloaded for a small fee. How long will it be before pay-per-view and subscription sports channels take up this also and begin to offer services via the web at a reduced cost? Lessons to be learned from the music industry would suggest that doing this sooner rather than later may help to reduce the number of people who live in a culture that accepts free and illegal downloads as the norm.
Other pages of interest and relevance (I'll add more as I find them):