The study published in the journal Media, Culture and Society argues that one of the key issues to emerge from this research is that the position you occupy as an media or football organization within the value chain attached to football rights helps shape your attitude to the broader regulatory framework.
Does the policing of copyright block innovation in the sports media market by restricting access to content? This research found that for content producers the issue of copyright is often less of a blockage to innovation (particularly in mobile apps) than the rigorous implementation of competition law in regulating and opening certain digital markets. However this can vary from market to market.
Blockages to scaling sports content companies over the years have included; a less than robust digital infrastructure (no longer a significant issue); developing a unsustainable business model (always a challenge but with advertising models once again back in vogue thanks in part to increased user numbers doable) and accessing rights to content (happening more through partnerships). Access to finance for sports content new start companies is seen by many as the key blockage, not the copyright regime.
The core of the value of sports such as football is the centrality of the live event that is what media companies want to pay for. It is this fixation with ‘liveness’ this shapes the sports market and its characteristics and in the mobile digital age this is is not going to change anytime soon.
Notes for editors: ‘Copyright, Football and European Media Rights’ by Raymond Boyle is a paper presented at the European Policy for Intellectual Property (EPIP) Conference, University of Glasgow, 2-3 September 2015. For more information visit: http://www.epip2015.org/
Raymond Boyle is Professor of Communications at the Centre for Cultural Policy Research at the University of Glasgow.
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