This has the same solution as any other story around copyright infringement.
If you provide people with easy, convenient, legal methods to consume the content in a way that works for them, for a price they find reasonable, then they overwhelmingly won't resort to illegal means.
I'm not saying these bars are correct to resort to illegal streaming, but a wise businessperson would see this as a signal that their product offering doesn't actually match demand, and work to fill that demand. You're not going to make 100% of people happy in 100% of cases, but you can get to a point where the level of illegal streaming just isn't worth cracking down on.
It's such a sad waste that all this money has been spent to identify and track down illegal activity when it could have been spent making the overall legal experience good enough that most people wouldn't need to resort to illegality. It adds insult to injury to note that companies like La Liga are already making money hand-over-fist; it's not like they have some sort of crisis where the lost revenue due to illegal streaming is posing an existential threat to their business. Instead of cracking down and making enemies, they could instead work to make the experience better and turn potential enemies into satisfied customers.
> a wise businessperson would see this as a signal that their product offering doesn't actually match demand, and work to fill that demand
This is not necessarily true. It depends entirely on the shape of demand. By way of simplified example, imagine that there are two types of consumers equally distributed: those willing to pay $1000 and those willing to pay $100. Unless you can distinguish at time of payment between these users and charge them different prices (without possibility of resale), you will always be better off forgoing half of the market and charging only the higher price.
It's possible that the business has estimated things incorrectly and is acting suboptimally, but I think it's as least as likely that they are maximizing profits the way we'd expect a rational business operator to do.
> but I think it's as least as likely that they are maximizing profits the way we'd expect a rational business operator to do
I think you grossly overestimate the ability of most large businesses to behave rationally form an organizational profit maximization perspective. It would just as likely or even more likely be something like personal wealth maximization by an employee or group of employees, personal relationship improvement, ego gratification, maintaining/improving social standing, effort minimization, etc.
This is even more so for a monopoly rights holder like La Liga.
> It would just as likely or even more likely be something like personal wealth maximization by an employee or group of employees, personal relationship improvement, ego gratification, maintaining/improving social standing, effort minimization, etc.
Do you have any evidence for this?
> I think you grossly overestimate the ability of most large businesses to behave rationally form an organizational profit maximization perspective.
You're free to think this but it doesn't really square with common sense. Profit maximization is a stated goal of large orgs, and by definition they're doing ok at it.
In any case, your comment does nothing to diminish OP's point: that the shape of the demand matters. What the shape of the demand is in this case is an empirical question and you haven't provided any evidence.
People and businesses don't behave rationally. They behave with bounded rationality . That is, they make the most rational decisions with information available to them. No one is working with perfect information. This leaves plenty of room for them to leave money on the table.
With that said, I have no guarantee that these companies are leaving money on the table. We also have no guarantee that they aren't. The best you are going to be able to do is create a model. Models are not reality. Models use assumptions. You're making two huge assumptions. One, that the models assumptions are correct. Two, the people interpreting the model are doing it correctly. Humans are imperfect, we make imperfect models, those models are interpreted by other imperfect humans. Making concrete statements either way is silly in my opinion.
To go further, in your example it continues to pay out even if the $100 crowd outnumbers by 8 to 1. So it seems they could forego nearly 90% of the population and still profit more at a $1000 price, unless I’m missing something.
Everyone would be willing to buy a Laptop for $5 but pricing one at $500 doesn’t mean demand isn’t matched or the business model is flawed. It costs more than $5 to make a laptop. This is an extreme case but often I see the argument that it’s ok to pirate because it’s too expensive is a flawed argument. Lots of people want things that are cheaper but it isn’t always possible. That being said some companies abuse this and over charge a lot, but nonetheless the argument that free is because it’s too over priced is a flawed argument. Otherwise I could use the same logic and steal a laptop and say it’s he business fault for selling it at $500 instead of $55
The piracy argument is different to stealing because of the simple fact that there is an infinite supply of digital goods. If I steal a laptop, there is a real cost to the supplier, because they have 1 less laptop to sell. If I pirate a piece of software, they only lose out if I would have bought the software had piracy not been an option. "lost sales" are hard to quantify.
Disclaimer: I don't pirate, and I sure as hell don't steal.
>If you provide people with easy, convenient, legal methods to consume the content in a way that works for them, for a price they find reasonable, then they overwhelmingly won't resort to illegal means.
I think the problem with your statement is "for a price they find reasonable." Because the price some find reasonable is much lower than others (the very reason why demand curves are downward sloping is they there are different willingness to pay for different customers).
Since La Liga can't price discriminate easily and charge those with higher willingness to pay more AND since they have a monopoly over these games, the rational economic decision of the league is to keep the prices at a higher price, which while unfortunately resulting in fewer people having access, it also means more profit for them.
Thus, I don't think it is as simple as you are making it appear.
I don't know about La Liga specifically but in general bars pay a much higher fee than end users to stream sports because it's such a big value-add for them. It's likely that these bars are streaming publicly on a user license, rather than using an illegal stream. The value proposition isn't necessarily that far out - just people want to pay less for things and will do if they can.
> the overall legal experience good enough that most people wouldn't need to resort to illegality
This fail when the content is the product. Sure you can improve the delivery method, but at the end of the day, you got to pay for both content and the delivery method, while the illegal market only has to pay for the delivery method.
The VPN market is flourishing, many people pay to get into private torrent trackers and rent seedbox to makes sure they can seed as much as they need to stay there.
Sure pay to get your experience better, but sadly they still need to pay to keep the content as good.
I believed that argument for far too long, that illegal content would happen less if a good enough service would exist. Netflix happened, it did happen, but then they increased the price just a tiny bit, others subscriptions based content appeared, still freakinly cheap, and more and more people got back to illegal content. Their thresold are way too low (and that make sense, the illegal market can deliver a good enough experience for cheaper because they only have to pay for that part of that experience, which is minimal in the actual entertainment).
I'm pretty sure most people pay more in fast food than in entertainment content each month.
> The VPN market is flourishing, many people pay to get into private torrent trackers and rent seedbox to makes sure they can seed as much as they need to stay there.
If there was a legal method which worked as well as the illegal one (including quantity and offline capabilities) and cost the same as the VPN / seedbox, I doubt most would stay with the illegal content.
Many would never switch because they stick with the illegal content for ideological reasons (“information wants to be free”, “I don’t want to give money to The Man”), but those you’ll never get money from either way.
> I believed that argument for far too long, that illegal content would happen less if a good enough service would exist. Netflix happened, it did happen, but then they increased the price just a tiny bit, others subscriptions based content appeared, still freakinly cheap, and more and more people got back to illegal content.
Netflix worked to reduce piracy because you felt they had everything. Now they don’t, and everything is split across several streaming services which you have to pay for individually. For many ex-pirates, it’s gotten to the point where consuming content legally has devolved (again) to be more cumbersome than doing so illegally.
> If there was a legal method which worked as well as the illegal one (including quantity and offline capabilities) and cost the same as the VPN / seedbox, I doubt most would stay with the illegal content.
And I felt I repeated myself too much in my comment. The thing is the illegal market ONLY has to pay for the delivery methods, without any expectation of profit margin, or paying for bandwidth, but I'm okay ignoring that considering that the delivery methods is a tiny fraction in the cost of production.
> Netflix worked to reduce piracy because you felt they had everything.
At each price increase to keep being able to support such a big selection, there just so many people saying they would go back to illegal downloads...
Again, the argument is VALID the thing is, the cost is about DELIVERY methods, not about FULL PRODUCTION. Theses peoples don't care about that. They want the best deal.
> The thing is the illegal market ONLY has to pay for the delivery methods
Which is an extension of your first paragraph, which is not what I was replying to, hence why it wasn’t the section I quoted.
Your argument further down was that you no longer believe (“I believed that argument for far too long”) that “illegal content would happen less if a good enough service would exist”. Well, a “good enough” service doesn’t exist. My suggestion was that for some of these pirates, a “good enough” legal service would need to allow them the same advantages they have with piracy, and cost the same as what they pay now for a VPN / seedbox.
I was not concerned with the feasibility of such a service. Rather, my argument was that for a legal service to displace piracy, it would need to be closer to its advantages. Right now, it’s getting farther away.
If a Mercedes costs too much, it’s ok to steal it? That’s what this attitude means. That it isn’t a physical good doesn’t mean there isn’t a cost to produce and distribute it and the price of producing that product is set specifically to make the economics work for the producers. That the bar is making revenue specifically because of the content someone else is producing makes this theft even more unjustifiable.
If someone misused GPL, there’d be outrage, if a bar steals soccer, there is sympathy? If open source people expect (and enforce) licensing for software, how is it consistent that a bar owner is reselling soccer content (i.e. using it to attract customers,) is justified? The idea that people wouldn’t watch it otherwise is ridiculous — they’d seek out a bar that has it. So in this case, this is a direct loss of revenue to the producer of the content.
With piracy, they don't have to pay for distribution, because the peer to peer networks take care of it.
What's unjustifiable is overcharging for essential music, books, and video, some of which is old, because of the ridiculous extensions on the copyright terms. Sometimes the artists have said they understand why people who can't afford it download their stuff, and can't blame them. Also unjustifiable is how the media conglomerates exploit the artists.
Theft is the wrong word, you are looking at copyright infringement. Not a moral judgment but simply the wrong term. There are no additional costs created at the producers site. The bars are having private licenses instead of those for public viewing. A missus of the GPL is also not theft but copyright infringement.
He pays for a copy and then streams it so everyone at the bar can see it.
Similiar to how he pays for cable and everyone at the bar can see it on all of their tvs.
I understand the soccer people want more money. But cost to create and produce is paid for by the subscription already or they couldn't afford to offer the service in the first place. The hardship doesn't exist on the producer's side. We could debate whether the producer should be able to extract as much money as possible on bar owners holding them up to Oracle type liceases. It reminds me of the music industry clamping down on people singing Happy Birthday.
It goes both ways. I get the soccer game through cable but would never watch it. It is part of a bundled package.
If I walk into a bar I may get a partial view of a screen / sometimes sound. That isn't worth the cost of a monthly subcription. Pro rated if the account is worth 10 dollars a month I would expect the actual usage to be around 10 cents per person. Not to discount the added ad revenue/tsheet sales/increased individual subscriptions/increased ticket buying.
It's hard to make the case that this revenue is critical to the survival of the game. I would say the opposite is true, the more bars offering the game the bigger and more valuable the game becomes. It's free advertising and if you could get my local little league into all of these bars on single subscriptions I would be the next unicorn.
But in this case there is only 1 provider, so imagine there is only Mercedes. Also they're selling it for a price that's 2x more than you can afford, while your job is XX miles/km away and there are no other options to get there.
Mercedes don’t have a monopoly on car distribution. If people doesn’t like the price of Merc’s then there are dozens of other alternatives. If people don’t like the price of media content then there is no other (legal) alternatives.
This is also why broadcasters have gotten away without much innovation in the industry when compared to what’s happening in other equivalent sectors.
Edit: Or at least not much innovation outside of rights management. Ironically they’ve spent more time and energy innovating ways to stop people accessing content than ways of improving their respective services.
I think that's a fair point. How long would it have taken for the media industry to come up with Netflix or the equivalent had it not been for people proving the viability of streaming media over the internet through piracy (and porn).
This obviously doesn't justify piracy but it does show how how resistant to change the media industry have become.
If Mercedes was the only supplier of cars run like a state like monopolistic actor.. So capitalistic socialism reigns in a market, people tend to do the usual black market stuff to get on withlife ? Surprise..
It isn't exactly stealing. It deprives of potential money, but it doesn't deprive them of the good. It's copyright infringement, which is a form of cheating, and megacorps routinely cheat in other ways, like doing their taxes so they record a loss and paying little or no income taxes. http://theconversation.com/is-downloading-really-stealing-th...
Calling it stealing is at least imprecise. I think it's also inaccurate.
not sure about soccer but UFC fights cost 5 to 10 thousand dollars per fight to show PPV at bars. If there are 100 people at the bar then it comes out to 50-100 dollars per person. Thats almost like buying a ticket to see the fight at the actual arena
"If you provide people with easy, convenient, legal methods to consume the content in a way that works for them, for a price they find reasonable, then they overwhelmingly won't resort to illegal means."
This is absolutely true, but also absolutely incompatible with our current universally accepted way of doing business which is the pursuit of maximum profits with zero consideration on moral issues. They will rather shovel money on clunky inferior but restrictive technologies, plus lawyers, if doing so would allow them to sell the product at a higher price most won't find reasonable, de facto encouraging piracy.
> If you provide people with easy, convenient, legal methods to consume the content in a way that works for them, for a price they find reasonable, then they overwhelmingly won't resort to illegal means.
I've never liked this sort of argument because it makes it sound like people simply have to view this content, by whatever means necessary, like their life depends on (excuse my slight exaggeration).
You don't have to watch Game of Thrones. Your life really will be fine.
I'm not watching game of thrones, but I can't quite see the connection here.
The argument doesn't really depend on people finding they have to view something.
They want to view it, so they look at the offering, which is illegal with bad customer experience or legal with better customer experience. They weigh their options according to their preferences, illegal VS legal, ad riddled pages vs smooth experience, having to find out how it works vs having it work in the TV out of the box. And then they will check the price to see what is the better trade off for them.
A good customer experience like Netflix will increase the odds that someone won't go through the hassle. Then if the price is reasonable people won't on average decide for the illegal option.
The problem for Netflix now is that a lot of third parties like Disney retract their content. This raises the price and worsens the UX, because you have to go through multiple subscriptions. This again raises the probability of pirating.
This is all just basic economics, not a moral argument.
I mean but say for example I want a promotion but my boss is deciding between two people. I could work harder and expect that he chooses me or I could go and murder the other person. I weight my options and turns out murdering him is the easy way out so I choose that. You can't say it's not a moral argument when one option is breaking the law
A company is there to make a profit. People have preferences. From the perspective of the company your interest should lie in maximizing the profit, given your target groups preferences. This is what is essentially the argument here.
It's not about discussing what is or isn't moral, your example probably isn't regarded as moral in most moral frameworks. But that is built into your subjective preferences. The company has to operate in a world with various preferences given as fact.
You obviously won't die from not watching Game of Thrones.
However, depending on your circle of friends and acquaintances, you might be excluded from social interactions. This can range from not getting occasional references, to not being able to participate in many conversations (during "peak" Game of Thrones a couple of years ago, they were a major and frequent topic in many circles) and hence being side-lined, to even being semi-ostracised ("Why should they hang out with this loser who doesn't even watch Game of Thrones?"). Obviously you could claim that you should get other/better friends, but that's not really realistic, especially if you're already on the border of social isolation.
This will have negative effects on your well-being and even your health (loneliness is a major health risk, on par with obesity and smoking).
"If you provide people with easy, convenient, legal methods to consume the content in a way that works for them, for a price they find reasonable, then they overwhelmingly won't resort to illegal means."
I disagree. Music is cheaper and easier to buy than ever with things like iTunes and the various streaming services and music piracy is still rampant.
Bars have very slim margins and owners will most likely never pay for these these streams, regardless of price, if they can easily get away with it.
My sense is that cheap legal streaming services have won the day. The original itunes model of $1+ per song is gone.$10-$20 CD's are gone.
Yes cheapskates can still torrent music and maintain their own digital archives. But for ease of use you cannot be spotify and equivalents.
Spotify beats piracy.
The same needs to happen for TV, movies, and live sport. (for a while there Netflix made pirate bay obsolete for me)
In the disruption alot of old school middle-men are going to lose big. But overall there should be confident streams of revenue, even more than you can get with outdated 1990s cable TV pay-per-view systems.
Successful bars don’t have slim margins. Restaurants often have slim margins because of food waste, but bars have pretty good margins. There is very good profit on drinks: a 750 bottle of Tito’s vodka costs about $18 wholesale, provides 16 shots, at $5 per shot, that’s $80. Then discount 20% for spillage, that’s $64. Bartenders in the US make tips, so the hourly cost to the bar is pretty minimal, but in Europe, everything is more expensive, but the ratios remain similar because a $5 shot in Europe would be €8, with no tipping, but roughly 20% of that price would go to the additional labor costs.
A well managed bar that keeps comps and spillage under control can make a very good profit, especially on soccer nights. Restaurants have very different economics because there are costs for the kitchen and other food waste. Anyone who has ever been in the restaurant business knows that the real profit comes from selling the drinks, not the food.
liquor licenses can be exorbitantly expensive (I hear $300k+ upfront in SF), plus increased recurring costs to comply with regulations; I'm sure authorities understand that establishments which serve liquor are more profitable in a vacuum, so they are likely to try and take a larger cut.
You realise you're arguing against fundamental economics right? The convenience of paid services is a product, literally all products have a value so if you price it right then people will pay for it. If you somehow were able to price discriminate perfectly then you could completely remove piracy.
"literally all products have a value so if you price it right then people will pay for it"
All products do have a value. However, you need to compete against easy and free with piracy...which is virtually impossible to win and unfair..especially if you aren't the person that created the product in the first place.
I'm arguing that the convenience is a product that can be sold. Piracy doesn't have that convenience so if you sold it at the right price you could beat piracy. It has evidently worked or media wouldn't have any sales.
> "It's such a sad waste that all this money has been spent to identify and track down illegal activity when it could have been spent making the overall legal experience good enough that most people wouldn't need to resort to illegality."
^ This. (Same principle applies to myriad other misguided efforts to exercise some form of control.)
One of those cases where both sides are in the mud. La Liga is struggling with piracy of games for long. They have been trying to make money of their product (football essentially features two of the greatest players to play the game in last 10 years, only one now) but struggle due to their whacky ideas and no care about fans. Sample this: The timings of games are as early as 12PM (spanish siesta is at 4PM) and as late as 11 PM local time. They host 10 rounds every week, most in different slots to get more eyeballs. They have acted in bad faith in a sense too. Spanish law requires one of those 10 games to be free to air. They made sure that game is one held on Friday or Monday at 11 PM (teams' fans call it graveyard shift) and nothing on f2a tv on weekend.The ones listed are the ideas which made through while others like having one random game in US thankfully did not. Though, given their ineptitude, its a sure wonder how they managed to execute this so well.
Bars should not be streaming the games illegally either. But since the cable prices are too high, and nothing on free to air, they have to in order to attract crowds. There is no official streaming service - albeit not bundled with cable tv subscription - that people in these countries can make use of to watch games.
The path forward maybe what Formula1 did by introducing a streaming service which is not geo blocked. This way, I can watch a race at reasonable subscription from anywhere in the world. They also allow me a racer only feed, or the global feed, or a feed from a particular stand. I will definitely buy it if any official football league offers that too.
Compared to PL everyone strugles. But you can't possibly suggest LaLiga are strugling...
PL is also a far superior product, the a/v is better, there is considerably more drama and the lower league, The Championship is almost on par. Football wise, there is a big debate. Entertainment wise, the PL is far better.
It doesn’t matter how much they make, there is no justifiable reason to suggest that stealing their content is acceptable. It isn’t a social service or some essential like food or medicine where they are gouging people. Content too expensive? Don’t buy it.
Good thing no one steals their content then. Or do they not have it anymore when a private viewing license is used? This is simple greed. And greed may be good from a business perspective, but morally wrong. Society doesn't have to help them with it.
My key take away from your comment is F1 has non geo-fenced service. I just went on their website, and I'm blown away. You can select a cockpit to stream, you have a bunch of geeky data, all while you can watch the GP in it's traditional way. I might get back into F1 just for this.
I‘m sorry but you must be kidding. They are having an outage on the pro service every, at least(!), second race weekend. The service usually goes down right at the start of the race and all people get is a tweet on @F1Help twitter account saying „we are aware of the issue and working on it“. Canadian GP was available for some users from lap 50! All was fine until 2 minutes before the start of the race.
Yes, they refund and send nice emails but people don‘t want refunds - they want to see a race!
Just check that twitter account, it‘s hilarious. I have cancelled the subscription, it was so bad.
To add to that, every single time they claim their engineers are trying to identify and fix the problem. For months now. It‘s like they work only during race sessions. No post mortems, no description of what measures have been taken to resolve the problem.
It‘s not even possible to load the help chat sometimes. The website during those outages barely works. Can‘t log out, can‘t log in.
The mobile app is another garbage. People being advised to reinstall the app when having login problems. Also for months!
It‘s garbage. Which is shocking. There are so many paid tv services streaming hundreds of channels and not having any of those problem. For a powerhouse like Liberty Media and F1, this is ridiculous.
Sorry that wasn't my experience but I would also cancel it if I went through the same troubles. Maybe it's regional, maybe i'm just lucky. I just hope that I can keep watching the races one way or another and happy that I could until now, except for one.
It is not 100% non-geo blocked considering F1 had contracts for exclusive coverage from earlier. But, once those contracts end, it will be available everywhere. (as far as I know UK is one where its not available due to deal with SKY)
The streaming also has some technical issues as they vastly underestimated the demand and the server could not take the load. Latest occurrence was at Canadian GP. I am not praising the service in the current state, but I strongly feel that is the way forward for sports broadcast. I have been an early adopter, and like the options I am provided (along with the influx of data I get) when the traditional TV streaming felt constraining and powerless.
Liberty Media has indeed done well. I can now easily keep up with highlights and also purchase/stream races live which are affordable and available by race/entire season at reasonable prices.
World Rally Championship (WRC) is doing this too.
Cricket caught up too, ICC cricket world cup that occurs once every 4 years and this tournament is going on right now, ICC is now offering highlights packages on the official youtube accounts. There wasn't a way to purchase/watch highlights of games even if one wanted to pay for it before.
Even French open tennis had highlights packages available on their official youtube accounts.
Provide some basic stuff out for free, in interest of promoting the sport, consider it cost of user acquisition. And, then provide options to stream/additional access for a reasonable cost. Seems to work well for some sports, wonder when others will catch up.
I was under the impression that a business would need to pay a screening fee for showing the game - I'd assume that illegally in this case doesn't mean via bitorrent but instead means playing content from a residential cable subscription to an audience.
I tend to side strongly with bars in most of these cases as broadcasters absolutely must be aware that bars frequently want to show sports games and they have failed to make licensing for this sort of showing reasonable from a logistical standpoint (sometimes wanting to charge a royalty based on how many distinct people watched any part of the game) that might actually be a reasonable fee in the end - but the cost of calculating the proper fee to pay outsizes the fee itself.
I, personally, have even less pity for HBO since, up here in Canada, you really have to pay serious cash to legally watch any exclusive shows - and two years ago you were just out of luck if you didn't have a cable package, unless you were getting your interwebs through Bell IIRC.
I feel no pity for content producers that disallow a reasonably priced (or any) access to their content and then cry foul at pirating. I similarly feel no pity for people who pirate old games that haven't been abandon-ware'd if they're available for a pittance on GOG. I value my time highly and trying to circumvent obstacles in my effort to give a content producer money is something I refuse to put any serious effort into.
Take this with a grain or two of salt, as I don't recall the source, but it seems plausible - I read somewhere that when it comes to businesses like bars, at least in the US, there is a normal rate applied to the cable package, and an additional rate applied 'per head' for the event in question. This may only be for pay-per-view events where multiple people can congregate at a single location which has paid the PPV fee, and not necessarily for widely broadcast events; I've seen sports bars charge cover for highly anticipated MMA matches.
How those rules are enforced is beyond me. Tangentially related, some of the legitimate, paid-for streams have been of pretty low quality, cutting out frequently. Not sure if it's because of draconian DRM or just excessive demand, but it would be interesting to find out.
For pay-per-view events there's usually a commercial PPV sales channel as well. Joe Hand Promotions handled it for the UFC up until this year (now it's all under ESPN+). JHP has some formula for determining cost, it's at least partially determined by venue capacity, hence the use of a cover charge.
Spanish bars truly are a perfect example of a race to the bottom, when it comes to prices. Sure, the financial crisis hit the country really hard, but trying to attract customers by lowering prices is not the best strategy in the long term.
This is when 200 € / month hurt - because you already run on a very tiny profit margin.
Soccer / football is such a huge thing in Spain, people would understand if they need to pay a little extra for their drinks or food in bars that have decent infrastructure to broadcast the games. Yet somehow most bar owners are afraid to take the risk.
I know this, because I used to live there for many years, and keep going there to visit relatives many times a year.
Illegal in this case may not mean streaming from some random website, it may mean buying a regular cable subscription and rebroadcasting it to your bar.
You need special permission (and may need to pay extra) to "perform," copyrighted works for a larger audience, in the same way you can play music over a speaker for yourself, but not for a large group of people.
Businesses can't simply pay for a residential subscription. They need to get a special subscription and often pay screening charges per event, it can often run as high as hundreds or thousands per event as it's based off your maximum capacity and not your actual attendance.
Commercial licenses for standard cable are surprisingly reasonable per receiver (when compared to consumer) at $87.99 a month for DirecTV. Keep in mind many bars have 10+ receivers so they can show multiple events. If you scroll down, it gets ugly on specific sports packages. NFL Sunday Ticket tops out at $2680/year, compared to about $300 for consumer.
Don't know about Spain in particular, but usually the fees in European countries are calculated for each individual bar, based on size and location. E.g. in Germany for a package of the top two major German leagues and UEFA (and some international ones), you can expect EUR 100-200 for tiny pubs in rural areas and small towns, EUR 500 for mid-sized bars and pubs in mid-sized cities, and up to EUR 2000 for big bars in big cities, per month.
We're talking about Spain. They recently emerged from a gruelling recession, their shadow economy makes up an estimated 20% of real GDP, and competition ran their profits into the ground. Even if small businesses have the cash, there's no incentive for them to spend it, and they're probably still in hoarding-cash mode.
I don't follow the Formula1 but my father does, I would like to get him a subscription but all I can find on their website is a subscription for replays 7 days after a Grand Prix and nothing live besides stats.
It's not available in every country and it's been comically bad so far. Most races the streaming just fails and when it's not failing it routinely drops down to an incredibly low resolution for a few seconds. The replays usually work once the race is over though.
Funny how your comment got downvoted. Imagine if someone alleged that all citizens of [African country] went to sleep at the same time during daytime [instead of working, etc]. GP would be flagged and banned already. But since it's Spain then it's fair game.
This reminds me of a short story by Paul Ford from a few years back:
We had gone to a baseball game at the beginning of the season. They had played a song on the public address system, and she sang along without permission. They used to factor that into ticket price—they still do if you pay extra or have a season pass—but now other companies handled the followup. And here was the video from that day, one of many tens of thousands simultaneously recorded from gun scanners on the stadium roof. In the video my daughter wore a cap and a blue T-shirt. I sat beside her, my arm over her shoulder, grinning. Her voice was clear and high; the ambient roar of the audience beyond us filtered down to static...
I told my waiting daughter to go ahead and pay the few dollars, just part of the latent cost of a ticket. She tapped and the tablet made its cash-register sound, and the video was irrevocably destroyed so that it could never again be shared.
I had written (in college) a small story about an "RIAA Task Force" collaborating with the FBI to raid small brick-and-mortar businesses with occupants above some fabled "listener limit" that dared to have an FM Radio or iPod connected to a boombox in the corner of the store somewhere. Everything from Barbershops to Butchershops were raided, and the small infringing devices confiscated.
Given that the RIAA tried to sue a grandmother once, This wasn't too far-fetched.
Yes, that's the point: if not for the drive-in, you'd pay for Netflix.
A more interesting question is: why can't one create that drive-in, as long as only Netflix subscribers can enter? If "it's a license, not a product" like these companies shout, trying to prevent legitimate ownership rights, the license should work anywhere.
I mean I understand both sides of the argument, but it seems like physical goods manufacturers are doing fine without enforcing restrictions on how their goods are used (I am free to buy an off-the-shelf power tool and then rent it out without paying extra to the manufacturer), so why are we giving this exception to content producers?
In my opinion the law should be changed that content you pay for can be used as you wish except copying (otherwise you'd just copy it and resell). It'll drive up the prices of the "source" content, but the market will quickly fill the gap by offering affordable access to broadcasted versions of such content.
Because media owners paid off enough law makers such that they have insane control over how people use their products. It's analogous to a car manufacturer putting a device in your car that will drive it back to the lot if you let someone else drive it. Except it's all over software - something that costs virtually nothing if lost.
This is only for the big guys tho. Little guys get screwed harder than before.
Sky Sports use a far simpler solution that doesn't violate anyone's privacy.
The satellite feed that's licensed for public venues has a small beer glass logo burned in to the image. The amount of beer in the glass changes every day on a pseudorandom basis. An inspector can check whether a pub has the right license simply by looking at the screen - if the glass is missing or contains the wrong amount of beer, it's an unlicensed stream. It's plausibly hackable by a sufficiently motivated person, but it's a remarkably simple and effective deterrent.
The glass only appears on the (vastly more expensive) pub licensed feed, not on the consumer feed. The higher cost and much smaller pool of licensed customers reduces the likelihood of someone pirating the feed and vastly simplifies the process of identifying the leak. A pirate could burn in the right logo to a standard consumer feed, but they'd need daily information from someone who can view the pub licensed feed.
Given the incredibly devious history of satellite anti-piracy technology, I would fully expect Sky to have a bunch of other, subtler data hidden in the feeds and codecs.
That makes sense, thanks! But I can't help but ask again: why would a simple lookup of address -> registration work here? Why would you need a vast array of subtler, hidden data in the feeds?
If you're playing live sports in The Temeraire, and The Temeraire doesn't have a license, then boom. You're knicked. Pubs are licensed and not readily movable things owned by specific (and licensed) people. Walk in the door, if they are playing sports and this pub is not registered then you know right away. You'd in fact only target pubs that dont have a license. No need for any steganography.
Of course you might want it if someone is streaming this sports feed from a pub licensed feed to the internet, but then why have the global changing beer glass?
It's a surprisingly complex legal situation. It's very clear that using a domestic Sky subscription in a pub is a breach of copyright, but it's less clear if using a foreign satellite subscription is legal - recent court cases have gone both ways and involve both British and EU law. The fact that a pub is showing a football match without a suitable license from Sky isn't necessarily evidence of wrongdoing.
The glass provides an instant clue for inspectors, but also the general public. A busybody (or a rival publican) can instantly spot if a pub is using a dodgy satellite feed.
There's also the underlying tension between Sky Television and the English Premier League, who both have slightly different incentives around rights enforcement. The pint glass allows Sky to easily audit pub landlords, but it also allows the Premier League to audit Sky.
It's not a comprehensive anti-piracy system in itself, but it's a really useful and really simple tool.
Since pub streams are much more expensive and the pool is much smaller, you could probably tag each pub stream individually on the fly, with a visual representation of a (pubid, date) hash.
Pub streams are also probably harder to pirate. You might get a single stream license and use it in the 3 bars you own, but then the service provider would quickly wonder how comes you own 3 sports bars and have a single license.
I've never been in a bar where the TVs had their audio on. The sports games are on screens but muted, and some have closed-captioning turned on.
Wouldn't that defeat this?
Slightly off-topic but I feel like relating it:
When I was a kid, we'd watch baseball games on TV, but muted. Then we'd turn on the radio and tune in whatever station was simulcasting the game. Because the radio announcers assume you can't see the action, they narrate a lot more of what's going on, so we could follow the gameplay without having to be glued to the screen every instant.
We also didn't have air conditioning, so baseball season was windows-open season, and more than once a pedestrian would pause to listen, sometimes holler "HEY WHAT'S THE SCORE?" into the house, we'd holler back, they'd continue down the sidewalk. _Everyone_ watched the Tigers in the 80s, and it was said that when a game was on, you could walk clear from Trenton to Mt Clemens and never be out of the sound of Ernie Harwell's voice.
Sports in bars is a very different experience with sound on vs. off. Without sound, it's a background distraction that a few folks may be interested in. With sound on (even if the commentary is indecipherable), it's a collective experience that holds everyone's attention. Usually the bar will mute or put on music during commercial breaks.
I do wonder if alternative commentary would ever catch on. Imagine if instead of talking heads you had a music track that would mimic the tension of the game like a music score.
Honestly the best way to watch baseball at least is to mute the TV and turn on the radio—vastly higher quality commentary, and you can look up in time to see the play you just heard. The ads also tend to be more local and less obnoxious.
So someone out there could make a killing by running their own stream that acts as alternate audio for the matches. Couple of super-fans in a booth with a video feed of the match, no audio passthrough, their own SFX person and statistician feeding them talking-points...
Charge bars a few dollars for the feed, and watch 'em rake it in.
Someone I met tried to figure out how to actually legally stream the NBA playoffs recently - apparently there's basically no way to do so without an existing cable subscription or without paying for the entire season. I'm guessing the licensing structure around all of that would make the US tax code look readable, but the result is that it's effectively impossible to decide you want to watch a specific game on a computer and give someone money to do so on a one-off basis.
It’s so much easier to stream the NBA finals from a pirate site than it is to pay - if there even is a way to pay. I’m looking at waiting 10 days for a cable installer and at least 50 a month plus multiple calls to setup and then cancel to watch the one event I want to watch via cable, or 2 clicks and an ad-free 1080p 60 fps stream on my browser.
I’m not saying piracy is legal or moral, but the difference in cost benefit effort and value is so extreme I don’t know how you can realistically expect someone who knows all the options to chose cable.
Streaming "cable" providers (Sling, Youtube TV, Playstation Vue, etc.)can get you up and running in minutes and usually come with a 7 day free trial. It doesn't solve every issue with trying to get legal, but it at least solves the "sit around all day for the installer to show up" problem.
> Streaming "cable" providers (Sling, Youtube TV, Playstation Vue, etc.)can get you up and running in minutes and usually come with a 7 day free trial. It doesn't solve every issue with trying to get legal, but it at least solves the "sit around all day for the installer to show up" problem.
Sling is a subscription service, like Netflix, but instead of a library of movies and shows, you subscribe to Live TV streams of channels normally only available from a cable TV subscription. It's all fully legal and above board, as they pay the same licensing fees that a Comcast would.
As the other poster mentioned, like Netflix, you need an internet connection. If you want to watch it on your TV screen, a set-top box like a Roku or AppleTV is worthwhile but you could always plug your laptop into the TV instead.
League pass does not apply to nationally broadcast games or games in your local market. I live in LA and root for the Celtics, and watch all the home broadcasts with their arena feed. If I lived in Boston it’s not an option and I have to have a cable subscription.
If the team is on a national broadcast, it is also blacked out.
That being said, I listen to the finals on the local radio broadcasts via the NBA app because those are never blacked out.
NBA League Pass doesn't actually let you stream the playoffs (if you're in the USA), nor do you get to watch your local team. It's meant to be a supplement to a cable subscription, or a full subscription for international viewers.
I'm currently watching game seven of the Stanley cup final from a questionable source, simply because I have no way of doing so legally in my current locale. I would gladly pay for the privilege of watching a high definition stream of this game, but I have no reasonable means of doing so. VPN might work, but I have never had much luck with this in the past. Oh well, don't take my money then..
I was frustrated with this exact issue for years until I bought a TV antenna a few years ago. Super Bowl, NBA Finals, etc are all on there, for free, in HD. No lag or interruptions either. It's also nice to just flip through the channels every now and then.
Tangentially related: there is a cool app called Tunity that "shazams" a muted TV, e.g. at a bar, finds the game and lets you play the audio from your phone - syncing it perfectly to the video picture that you shazamed. So you can sit at a bar or waiting room or somewhere with muted TVs, and listen to the audio of the game.
That's a great idea. I've always wanted to create an app that would pretty much do exactly that, except for doing outdoor guerilla movies (kind of like a renegade drive in movie theatre). As to not annoy neighbours, you'd listen to a stream of the audio on your phone with headphones. It would be pretty easy to setup a stream, but because of differences in phones and network latency there'd have to be client-side syncing.
"the recordings of others will always be illegal because they violate the Fundamental Right to the Secrecy of Communications, established in Article 18.3 of the Spanish Constitution." 
A very mild punishment for 10 million instances of breaking their constitution. Since the law is equal for all, I can only assume an individual spying on conversations would be treated with similar clemency.
And despite what the league says, yes, it is spying. They listen in for some piece of data that they're curious about. That they discard irrelevant bits client-side doesn't change that.
The full description sounds like a normal digital camera to be honest, almost as if someone has gone to great verbal lengths to disguise the fact it is simply a camera:
"The optical detector in the detector van uses a large lens to collect that light and focus it on to an especially sensitive device, which converts fluctuating light signals into electrical signals, which can be electronically analysed."
For many years I had heard that the real enforcement tool was the fact that anyone selling a TV in the UK, like an electrical retailer such as Comet or Currys, had to submit the name and address of the purchaser to the TV Licensing authority. I just did a quick google, and it turns out this really was the case for a really long time!
This exact thing happened to me when I was a student. In '94 when myself and 6 other first-year students moved into a house, one of the first things we did was get a TV sorted out between us. Renting TV's was still a thing then and doing so was quite viable for a bunch of students who didn't have the disposable cash to just go and buy a TV.
"Paul" put his name on the rental agreement. of course we needed the license too so that day we got that sorted too. "George" (there was a John too, and I was sorely disappointed to find there wasn't a Ringo!) arranged it and her name went on the license. a few weeks went by and sure enough we got a visit from the "Detector Van" because Radio Rentals told the licensing authority that we had taken delivery of a TV and of course that didn't match their records of a license holder... never mind that the address was covered and it was a shared house. (not individual apartments)
A similar thing happened a couple of years later when I moved in with a bunch of guys who just didn't bother with a license and I was in when a guy with a clipboard of address that didn't have licenses just went door to door checking if there was a TV in use. he had a "detector van" but it was just the output of a database select.
For a while the licensing agency even had ads to the effect that "detection" is just the output of a database.
Alos youtube is full of people their their harrassment by licencing officials because they don't have a license
Really? bizzare. Even the UK TV Licensing authority in the UK calls itself the the "Licensing authority"! Given it has legal enforcement powers and a team to enforce them the term "Authority" is absolutely appropriate.
"Since 1991, the BBC, in its role as the relevant licensing authority, has been responsible for collecting and enforcing the TV Licence fee."
One of those vans with tinted windows would make an awesome camper van. Clearly you would be geographically limited to the UK however if that van was quietly parked up somewhere then nobody would suspect someone was sleeping in it.
A vintage one would be cool too, probably a bit tricky in headwinds with that weight on the top. You could also watch TV pretty well just by watching what other people had on. Shame LCD flatscreens ended this nonsense.
Most people believed the vans were mythical and that they just had a map with a database. The vans - according to some - were fake, just to put fear into people.
The should be so lucky...PPV is a crazy industry in terms of structure but local ppv providers would send uncover patrons to bars to find illegal ppv streams and next thing a bar/restaurant knows they got served with a lawsuit usually for about $10,000 (for UFC events anyway).
Eh, I prefer dark future dystopia's that rely on terrible human nature - call me when the provider starts injecting an advertisement into the game over all residentially broadcast streams "We're conducting a market research survey, are you seeing this in a pub or bar? If so call this number for a free 10$ starbucks gift card!" or even just "Broadcast of this program in a pub or bar is illegal, if you have witnessed this call this number to collect a finder's fee."
I recall hearing of a DirecTV or similar network using a trick like that: In the minutes prior to a PPV broadcast, they sent a "Subscriber bonus - call now to claim your free T-shirt" or something, but it was encrypted with a key that the legit receivers didn't have -- only the pirate receivers could decode it. Thousands claimed it...
I can't find a source for this anecdote at the moment, sorry.
This really doesn't sit well with me. Yes, the bars in question were breaking the law. However, keep in mind that one business was using private citizens to essentially spy on other businesses without the citizens' knowledge or consent.
I'm sure the users of the app technically gave legal consent via the app's terms of service. But I doubt even 1% of the app's users were actually aware of this aspect of the app.
Also, this is why the permissions an app requires to operate matter. I roll my eyes just as hard as the next person when I see comments in the Google's Play store about the absurd level of permissions required by some apps. But I also think twice when I install apps requiring ridiculous permissions compared with what they're supposed to do.
I think the law needs to recognize an intermediate expectation of privacy. Right now we have a hard level or no expectation at all. And that's it. And intermediate rule should make anything but incidental recording criminal
 Film a lady in a dressing room? go to jail.
 Topless at the beach? Perverts can record you and upload the videos to porn sites.
 Camera recording people around the store, legal. Using AI to track who they are and collate that with other camera's? Felony, go to prison.
Easier said than done. On circuits that use small enough amounts of power, they can run parasitically from the power through pullup resistors on I/O lines. I've seen microcontrollers continue to work fine after lifting their power pin.
I'm waiting for a company to start paying $X to the first Y people that passively find illegal streaming. Turn people into fully aware copyright cops on your behalf. You leave an app running in the background and it listens 24x7 for unauthorized sports broadcasts.
I've always thought that people would be more than willing to opt in to data collection services if they were paid. I gladly answer location questions via Google Rewards because they give me 10 to 50 cents each time. It doesn't need to be a minimum wage thing, just none of the subterfuge.
Semi-related, the technology used in Shazam and other music ID services grew from companies that monitored radio stations to make sure they were playing all the ads they'd been paid for.
In the mid-2000s, I worked on a Shazam-like text message service that would ID songs on the radio for you, and send you an iTunes purchase link. You texted us the radio station you were listening to, and we sent that and the timestamp to a server run by a company with listening stations all over the US, and it told us what song it was hearing at that time. The company's main clients were advertisers checking up on radio stations, but the technology worked just as well for music.
It was a pretty sweet little service for the time, but sadly we never launched. I was amused when I saw far more polished apps like Shazam doing essentially the same thing, years later.
Obviously it is my responsibility to keep those bytes away from you.
Isn't this the same argument currently making its way through the public mindshare regarding WikiLeaks? Of course they had a right to distribute and comment on the contents of the State Dept. cables. The fact that the government claimed they were private (classified) can not overcome the basic thrust of freedoms of the press and speech.
Ok, so you're walking down the street with a locked phone in your pocket. I send an Android Bluetooth 0-day payload to your phone. Nothing wrong with that, after all I'm just asking your phone if it wants to copy some bytes, and it says 'sure!'. Not my problem if your phone does something funky with those bytes.
Now I have root, and copy off all of your pictures and private data onto my device. Nothing wrong with that, just copying some bytes, right?
Finally, I have all of your data, no contractual obligations to you on how I use it. So I'll just copy some bytes over to Twitter or Instagram and publish your private photos to the world. That's all ok in your book, because all the time I'm just copying bytes?
Your point is so reductivist that it is absurd. It's like declaring that any human action is just wiggling of fingers or flapping of vocal chords, and what can be so bad with wiggling fingers or flapping vocal cords?
Yes, in a free society, it's my responsibility to be a ward against 0-days. This is the problem with unduly complex and / or closed source software and closed, proprietary hardware being in our pockets in the first place.
To paint over these problems by restraining basic, fundamental speech (ie, you can repeat anything you know to anyone, specific contracts notwithstanding) is throwing away the baby instead of the bathwater.
I'm not saying think of the children. I'm not even making an arugment with that previous post - I'm probing your viewpoints to see if your worldview truly allows free sharing of information from one party to another as it appears you claimed.
I could have just as easily said terrorist propaganda, beheading videos, revenge porn, bomb making manuals, or a lot of other things. My point is to find out if you really believe in unrestrained speech, or if you yourself have limits to what is allowable free speech vs unallowable.
Okay, so I commit a crime and steal all sorts of personal data from a phone, but then hand that data off to someone else - who knows that I did something naughty to obtain it - who then posts it for all the world to see.
That second person did nothing wrong?
Also, did I really break into the phone? I just hypothetically asked if it wanted to copy some bytes, and it said yes.
> Obviously it is my responsibility to keep those bytes away from you.
If you're in your home changing and accidentally leave a window open, I shouldn't be watching you through binoculars. Whether it's bits and bytes or images or sounds, it doesn't make any difference, we're ultimately trying to avoid various types of harm.
And that means you're right in that it is your responsibility to be prudent because people will do bad things, but at the same time it's also my responsibility not to intentionally spy on you. Though, that shirt has to go.
It is quite obvious what I meant when I said publishing. Not really sure why you are acting in bad faith by purposefully misinterpreting what I said.
But to give a clear definition of what publishing means, that any non idiot, non bad faith actor would have already known, what I meant by publishing is when I take some media and put it in a place where any large amount of people could access it.
And if I publish something, then no, I have no problem with anyone accessing the information that I released for the purpose of a large amount of people to see.
IP law in this country need to go away. It doesn't help the market as a whole, it doesn't encourage content creation it encourages legal spending and manipulation.
You shouldn't get paid for having and idea you should get paid and be excited to create content to be first to market and have an consumer base. If somebody can come along and do it better there should be no legal barriers. The result is a highly competitive iterative market that grows exponentially and benefits the consumer. The only protections should be around branding ie you say you are who you are. Everything else can be accomplished with trade secrets. This is especially true when you consider the world is shrinking and the lvels of control are local only. So all of your competitors abroad are benefiting from it while locally we waste millions arguing in court over who is allowed to bring product to market. It creates things like the epi pen markup. There was an alternative, cheaper within a few days but they were blocked from marketing and change the applicator to avoid a broad patent on it.
Also would like to point out that there is a reason why patents and io don't exist in some of the oldest markets (food/clothing). Because otherwise there would be no industry or growth. They live on brand protection and secrets..
One of the strongest tools you have as an individual or small business is IP law. It means that the big incumbent that you're trying to take on can't just swoop in and copy what differentiates you from them, and eat you alive.
Making copies and sharing used to be hard so it made sense to charge money for copies and build business models around that. Now both discovery and copies are nearly free so business models must change. With pay to release payment is collected from patrons and the results can be shared. Modern makers, producers, and business people need to accept modern reality instead of blockading about sharing being theft when it clearly is not.
It doesn't feel like sports leagues want me to be a fan anymore. Take the NBA for example. I can't attend games because they're outside of my price range. I can't buy merchandise because a simple jersey costs north of $50. I can't watch the games because the subscription per month costs too much and bars are starting to get priced out of the range too. Encouraging my kid to play in high school to go pro is a joke since there are no minor leagues that he could fall into since he's not a genetic freak.
I want to be a fan but it feels like the sports leagues don't really value fans anymore. Instead, they want to safeguard their product so that only the rich can enjoy it.
In certain EU countries that could be A) Illegal wiretapping
B) GDPR violation
If they happen to record other private information such as what political party one likes, or religion one likes they would be even more in legal trouble. And also recording anything about sexual life which could happen in a bar conversation say between friends.
Since you know exactly what you are listening for I imagine you can handle quite a lot of noise in your signal. If you want to take it one step further I imagine you could create a special audio fingerprint that is easy to detect over the normal sort of background noise in a bar (which tends to be quite uniform) and broadcast that at regular intervals.