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Posted on November 6th, 2012 by Barry Collins

Where you can’t watch football online

The Content Map

A press release arrives from the BPI, the zealous defenders of copyright holders. It has contributed to a new website – The Content Map – a portal for “British digital content services” that  is “encouraging UK online consumers to explore more than 150 authorised websites and platforms offering films, TV programmes, music, video games, e-books and sports broadcasts”. Because the reason people turn to file-sharing sites is because they’ve never heard of LoveFilm and iPlayer…

Anyway, being a footy fan, I head straight to the Sports section, eager to find out about all the legal ways I can watch the beautiful game live online. “Click on your favourite sport below and see the different ways for you to watch online,” the website implores, which sounds just the ticket.

And then I look at the four websites listed under football: the official sites of the Premier League, the FA Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League. The first two show no live football whatsoever, and the second two only deliver live streams via partners such as Sky, ITV and ESPN. The aforementioned Sky, which shows more live online football than any other broadcaster in this country, isn’t listed.

If the rights holders can’t even point us to legitimate streams of their own content, is it any wonder that people turn to file-sharing services and iffy foreign TV feeds?

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Posted in: Rant


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13 Responses to “ Where you can’t watch football online ”

  1. Chatan Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I agree Barry,

    Last night I decided I wanted to start watching Downton Abbey, so I went to Lovefilm online on my iPad (I normally just use the disk service) and it was there. But alas, you cannot use AirPlay for video to my Apple TV. And my Blu-Ray/DVD player doesn’t have a Lovefilm app, so I had to watch it on a 15″ laptop screen instead a 42″ TV. I almost felt like finding a streaming site (which Airplay would allow).

    Why oh why oh why do they insist on making it so hard for people who pay these things?


  2. bookmac Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    SKY is a paid subscription model, you know that, so why are you suddenly expecting free streams from them?

    Pay the subscription, get streams.

  3. David Wright Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    @bookmac who is talking about free? He said that Sky wasn’t even listed as a legal way of watching football on the site!

  4. tech3475 Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    “Because the reason people turn to file-sharing sites is because they’ve never heard of LoveFilm and iPlayer”

    IF it’s on Lovefilm or the iplayer.

    Also, the football stream have additional problems:
    1. What if I only want to watch the odd game?
    2. Sky Go is a pain, you can only have two devices connected and one change every 30 days, oh and if you root, have an incompatible device or upgrade to the newest Android version tough ****.

  5. Ryan Thomas Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 11:57 am

    @bookmac Have you not completely misunderstood the article? He is talking about not being about to find LEGAL streams – he has never mentioned that they should also be FREE streams.

    Try reading it again.

  6. Matt Williams Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    The DEAct, ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, the SWAT team raid on Kim Dotcom, threatening Richard O’Dwyer with extradition. These all led me to cancel my Spotify, Netflix and LoveFilm subscriptions and stop buying DVDs Blu-rays and CDs. I am now very selective about how I give money to these organisations. I’m not giving them a single penny to destroy the things I value.

  7. Thomas Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    It looks rather rushed and slapdash. They should have someone competent check the spelling and grammar. There are two errors on the front page and at least three in the FAQ!

  8. Phil Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Why do the legal alternatives such as Lovefilm and demand5 make it impossible to use Linux. Lovefilm have switched to using silverlight. Demand5 now seem to use encrypted streams which I can’t get flash under linux to understand. So I ended up having to watch the Mentalist on a 13″ laptop instead of a 32″ TV :(

  9. Tim Says:
    November 6th, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Sky requires Silverlight for some obscure reason as well. Bookmac may like to note that while I have paid for Sky F1 in HD, I cannot get it online, only a crummy SD version that is almost as bad as ITV player.
    Likewise ITV offer shows via ITV player that are completely unwatchable. The video quality is truely awful, and the averts are unavoidable. If you switch to another tab while they are on, they repeat again and again and again and again until you give up and go to pirate bay.

  10. Steve Says:
    November 7th, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Matt Williams:

    So you’re not supporting things you enjoy (paid services) and you’re supporting people that destroy things you like.

    That makes no sense at all. Freetard logic?

  11. Richard Says:
    November 7th, 2012 at 8:15 am

    It often appears that the people who develop and mange these offerings only do it under protest. Awful advertising, poor user experiences limited acceptance that there is more than one type of viewing device, the barriers grow by the second.
    The current ITV catch up advert is so terrible that I had never seen it until a survey asked me to watch it and comment, dreadful sound track and all the performers and shows I would never want to see or ‘catch up’. No wonder I knew nothing about their (dis)service.

  12. Tim Says:
    November 8th, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    I agree. My experience was so bad I took the time to contact all of the advertisers. Forcing unwilling users to watch the adverts does the advertisers no favours.
    BBC seem to be the only ones to provide a decent user experience.

    I have paid for Sky F1 in HD. Why should I only get an unwatchable version online? The article isn’t about free loading, but the inability of content providers to provide at all.

  13. dAZZC Says:
    November 12th, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I think the point here is simple.
    Content providers are quicker than Apple when it comes to dragging someone to court for illegal downloading, viewing or streaming but they do little to point people in the right direction to find legal or official content.

    They can’t have it all ways. Not only are they blinkered in their approach, they are missing monetising opportunities.


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