Sport fans uploading videos of highlights to social media sites has become a popular trend, and the National Football League (NFL) does not like it. Two weeks ago, Twitter temporarily deactivated the Twitter accounts for Deadspin and SB Nation after complaints from the NFL, which does not like to see outside influences uploading its content without league authorization.
With social media a tenet of this current generation, especially among college students, some on campus weighed in on this issue, and they gave their thoughts on whether or not this really presents a problem to professional sports leagues.
Kevis Kendrick, gave his opinion about Deadspin and SB Nation uploading videos right after a play happens in a game, and if it violates any copyright laws.
“I don’t think it violates any type of copyright laws because I feel like it does not harm the broadcast,” Kendrick said.
Alexander Curington, another student at UNCG, felt differently.
“Considering the rules that are in effect, yes. They need the ‘express written consent’ of the NFL or whatever to do so, and if they don’t get that permission, they’re outright breaking rules,” Curington said.
Both Kendrick and Curington had similar opinions concerning whether the NFL was overstepping its boundaries by asking to have the Twitter accounts temporarily deactivated.
“Yes, it doesn’t not do any damage or harm to the companies at all,” Kendrick said. “So it should not be an issue.”
Curington agreed with Kendrick’s thoughts on the matter.
“I do believe that they are overstepping said boundaries because it’s really not that serious,” Curington said. “Nobody’s getting hurt by it; no one is losing money because of it. It should not be that much of an issue.”
Curington also discussed some of the positive and negative aspects instant access to video clips from games can have for fans of sports.
“It can benefit people by it being an alternative to having to sit through hours of other highlights to see just one,” Curington said. “If somebody posts a highlight to Vine/Twitter, you can watch it whenever you want, however many times you want.”
Kendrick gave his opinion on the positives as well.
“They help fans catch up on a play that was eye-catching and exciting,” Kendrick said. “The problem with channels like ESPN is that sometimes you have to wait a while to see a play, and the good thing with social media is that you can see the play whenever you want to.”
Curington talked about a downside of it but was unsure of whether or not it really would be a problem at all.
“It may serve as a negative because the TV show may lose viewers, but it really wouldn’t ripple the pond that much,” Curington said.
Kendrick talked about the clips’ down side as well but overall didn’t think there really was a negative to them.
“I think it is definitely more of a good thing than a bad thing because people have an opportunity to see plays whenever they want to, and that should be a good thing for professional sport leagues,” Kendrick said.
Some people think that instant access to videos and online streaming may present a threat to league’s revenues. Because of this access online and social media, television broadcast stations will not be getting the ratings they once had due to competition. Kendrick talked about this issue and did not think the TV networks would suffer from this competition.
“I think ESPN and other sport-broadcasting networks are way too prestigious and numerous to decline much,” Kendrick said. “People prefer to watch games on live TV channels rather than online streaming, so websites like Deadspin and Twitter won’t hurt much.”
Kendrick and Curington both also talked about whether or not they regularly watch clips or Vines of sporting events.
“I do watch sport vines [not in place of highlights] because they are usually entertaining and often place emphasis on the climax of the play,” Curington said.
Kevis talked about how often he views clips or Vines of different games.
“I do not faithfully watch sports vines, but if I go on Twitter and I see a sports clip of something on my feed, chances are that I will open that clip and look and see what happened.”
Though the NFL may not want unconventional and online media outlets showing off its brand, according to the students, though they use social media, they will tend to stick with traditional sources which the NFL and other professional leagues would likely approve.
“I do not watch unaffiliated online streaming sites at all because I prefer to watch all of my sports on a live broadcast network like ESPN and TNT,” Kendrick said.