Live feeds of almost all every game in every national sports league — from college to the pros — are available online.
This comes as a complete shock to executives from the pro sports leagues,
“We never felt that the jewel in our crown, the live games, would be vulnerable,” NBA SVP and intellectual property lawyer Ayala Deutsch told the Times last month.
The reality is that as long as the only way for fans to see out of market games live legally is to pay for expensive, one-size-fits all satellite and cable TV packages or go to a sports bar, the number of pirated online streams of the league’s games will continue to exponentially expand.
The only solution is for the leagues to create their own iTunes for live games. As with digital music, piracy won’t stop, but it will slow down. Better yet, the leagues will have a new revenue source and more legitimate impressions to sell to advertisers.
Users would take to this “iTunes for live sports” because right now, there’s a lot of pain involved in hunting down the pirated streams on the Web. Even when you find a game online, they’re usually grainy, laggy and with poor audio — sometimes you can hear the bootlegger talking in the background.
See for yourself. Here’s how to find today’s NFL playoff games live on the Internet.
Step one: Go to howtowatchfootball.com. Click on “View Complete List of Today’s NFL Streams in the Forums.”
Step two: Click on any of the links but TVants stuff, which would require you to download software.*
Step three: When you get to the page, click to pop the video out. This will prevent live comments from bogging down bandwidth.
If those feeds get shut down or bogged down with too much traffic, which they usually do, start over following these steps.
Step four: Go to justin.tv and click the “Watch” button.
Step five: Make sure you’re filtering the streams by most popular. If its Sunday and there are games on, this should bring them to the top.
Step six: Look for your game. We couldn’t find an NFL game for this example, because the weren’t coming on for several more hours. There were plenty of European soccer matches, however. Note: Sometimes the icon will describe the game and the show title will not. The people hosting the games do this to keep league officials from easily finding and shutting them down.
Step seven: If that feed gets shut down or bogged down with too much traffic (don’t forget to pop-out the video), repeat steps 4 and onward. Or, go to the bottom of that video’s page and look for related videos.
*We’re showing you how to do this without downloading any untrustworthy desktop apps. Two reasons why: For one, most of them don’t work on Macs and two, we’ve always felt you have to be nuts to download desktop apps from unreliable sources on the Web
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