Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Liveblogger thrown out of press box

There has been a very intriguing story going around the internet sports community about a newspaper writer being kicked out of a press box for his live blogs of the NCAA Super Regional. The NCAA has claimed that Brian Bennett's liveblog violates the exclusive coverage rights of ESPN to broadcast the event live.

All I want to know is: why didn't they kick me out of the Southern Conference Tournament so I could have made national news???

But really, this is a very interesting story because of all of the questions that it brings up. What exactly does exclusive live coverage of an event entail? Does it mean that a fan can't text message or call his friend? What about someone watching the game from outside of the fence and blogging that way? What if a credentialed media member posts the score of the game on a message board? Is that live coverage too?

It seems like the NCAA is really doing what they do best in this situation in that they have made a sweeping ruling and are only enforcing in isolated and arbitrary situations.

In the least, this event will certainly bring issues of the internet and the blogdome to the forefront of the minds of mega-media companies (ESPN), the governing institutions (NCAA) and the larger sports community who are just now starting to get into this whole internet thing (my Dad).

I believe that there are some very important conversations to be had about first amendment rights, exclusive rights to college athletes (SEE my beef with college highlight videos/merchandise/likenesses and companies selling them for profit, but players not being able to make money off of themselves), and the everchanging role of the sports media.

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