NCAA Kicked Blogger Out of Stadium

July 13th, 2007

Unbelievable but true incident – Brian Bennett, a Louisville Courier-Journal reporter had to leave the stadium during a Louisville-Oklahoma State baseball game for posting live updates of the NCAA baseball tournament game on his website.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association says reporting on the “game in progress” violates the exclusive broadcasting rights it sold to ESPN and CBS

The NCAA says,

Bloggers can write about the game before it starts or after it’s over. In between, they can blog about “the atmosphere, crowd and other details,” but not about the game itself.

Does the NCAA really think anyone wants to read about the “atmosphere, crowd and other details” at a college baseball game? Hardly anyone cares about college baseball, period. You’d think the NCAA would want to reach out to the few die-hard fans desperate enough to follow the game on their laptops.

Before cell phones and BlackBerries, the wireless device for people who couldn’t afford to be out of touch was the electronic pager. It is routine to get updates through these channels since 1994 when Motorola and Stats Inc. teamed up to provide continuous game updates via pagers.The National Basketball Association, though, considered it an unauthorized broadcast and sued, alleging unfair competition and copyright infringement. But an appeals court ruled that the service was reporting facts, not pirating creative property. The same arguments can apply to Brian Bennett.

Now What Next ?  No cellphones allowed inside the stadium to avoid the leak of ball to ball updates. It would be interesting to see how far can they go?

[Source : Chicago Tribune ]

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