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All videos, images, and even mentions of NBA players will be removed from their respective team websites if and when the lockout goes into effect this Thursday.Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN’s True Hoop blog has the story:
The moment the clock strikes midnight on the current CBA, all those images and videos of NBA players have to disappear off NBA-owned digital properties. Depending on how you interpret “fair use,” the prohibition could include the mere mention of a player’s name on an NBA-owned site, though different teams have different interpretations of this particular stipulation.
While this might seem quaint, Arnovitz points out that it’s throwing a huge wrench into how the editorial and marketing staffs of these websites do business.
For one, websites layout and multimedia capabilities will be stripped down to the bare bones. The NBA has built identical, rudimentary websites for each team to use during the lockout. “We’re going back to the stone ages of the Internet,” one team website administrator told ESPN.
In addition, sites will struggle to come up with original content since they can’t even mention a player’s name. “How much can Rockets.com write about Clutch the Bear before fans tune out and go elsewhere for their Rockets fix?” Arnovitz asks.
This content glut will undoubtedly cut into page views. The fans who went to team sites for trade rumours and free agent news will end up going elsewhere, so selling ad space will be that much more difficult for marketing staffs used to have reliable page view stats.
A prolonged lockout could really hurt these sites in the long term. If readers are forced to go elsewhere to get any substantive NBA news for months at a time, who’s to say that they would come back?
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