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'I don't NEED to pay' to watch football, thunders EU digi-czar

Mushroom

Good luck on that one.

Murdoch and similar appear to have it all sewn up, dammit. I can't even watch HOME internationals for rugby on free-to-view terrestrial telly. It's a bloody outrageous situation which NEVER should have been permitted to happen.

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Re: Good luck on that one.

"It's a bloody outrageous situation which NEVER should have been permitted to happen."

Why not? I don't want to pay for sport that I don't watch, so I'm quite happy that it is available to you via subscription services. I'd be equally happy if it was Free To Air on one of the commercial channels, but as it isn't that presumably reflects the fact that the effective PAYG advertising revenues on terrestrial FTA broadcasts aren't sufficient to match the sports industry's costs.

The low levels of government funding for sport hardly put it in a position to mandate that the sports industry should either give its content away for free, nor do the levels of interest justify adding the bill to the telly-tax and then force-feeding the content to all and sundry.

You want it, you pay for it. And ideally we'd have a similar approach to BBC shit like Antiques Roadshow and Songs of Praise.

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Mushroom

Re: Good luck on that one.

It's bloody outrageous because they're international games. Regular league games, yes, I don't like the idea of pay per view, but understand why it's there, but I seem to recall that a few politicians were against allowing national games to be made PPV. Look at it this way: Scotland and Wales are able to watch their internationals live on free telly, and are laughing down ther respective national kit at us because we can't. So, why can't we have our international games shown live on free telly in England? When you have a rational answer that doesn't fall foul of the libel and slander laws, let me know.

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Re: Good luck on that one.

I have to agree with the sentiment that international events, be they football, rugby or any other sport should be on free to view TV, although in these modern times, we're not allowed to be patriotic in case it upsets someone!

The problem with the rugby union events is down to the RFU who have a deal with Sky for matches at Twickenham, so in the 6 nations you'll be able to watch England as long as they're not at home. $deity knows if that's going to be the case for the world cup next year, but I do hope it's not.

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Joke

Re: Good luck on that one.

You forgot the free beer.

It's bloody outrageous I can't get beer for free either. Who let THAT happen?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good luck on that one.

Whereas Scotland football fans can't watch their international matches on FTA as they are all on Sky and BT. England has the luxury of "protected" status (along with the likes of the World Cup - something unlikely to trouble us any time soon - Wimbledon et al) meaning it has to be FTA. Another case of us subsidising you lot down south (Crossrail, HS2, etc, etc...)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good luck on that one.

"match the sports industry's costs"

"match the sports industry's demands "

Fixed

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Trollface

Re: Good luck on that one.

I wasn't aware that Scotland played football, certainly never seen them in the world cup play offs

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Re: Good luck on that one.

So, why can't we have our international games shown live on free telly in England?

Firstly, for the important ones, you can. It is only friendlies which Sky have the license to. 6N or WC is FTA.

Secondly, the reason you can't watch them is because your union decided to sell the rights to Murdoch.

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Re: Good luck on that one.

Actually not true, all 6 nations games are protected so have to be shown free to air.

The only England rugby games on Sky are the Autumn internationals as ITV have the rights to the RU World Cup

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Re: Good luck on that one.

"Why not? I don't want to pay for sport that I don't watch, so I'm quite happy that it is available to you via subscription services."

Oh, this old canard. Isn't this what every "individualist" complains about wrt taxes? "Oh, I don't use public schools, I shouldn't pay." "I don't drive, so I shouldn't pay for roads." "I don't take the bus, why do I pay for transit taxes?" etc etc etc.

If there is a tax / levy / whatevs charged on a public good, you should have access to it regardless of your location. If Mr Robot pays Estonian taxes which are hoovered up by the EU and broadcast freedom is part of it, why should he NOT have his access regardless of his location in the EU?

Granted, Football is nowhere NEAR as important and public infrastructure / services, but if there is a payment from the populace to the rights-owners via any government levy, then geolocation blocking is just another "tax" on the use of said service and should be repealed.

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Re: Good luck on that one.

I wasn't aware that Scotland played football, certainly never seen them in the world cup play offs
I'm probably older than you, then, as I remember them in Argentina '78.

"C'mon Archie, c'mon" being the memorable touchline coaching from Ally McLeod.

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Re: Good luck on that one.

Why not? I don't want to pay for sport that I don't watch...
So you reckon that the entire FTA TV schedule should bow to your personal whim?

I don't watch Eastenders, but I'm more than happy to help fund it for those that do as I will watch other programmes which they don't watch. I don't expect a personal service

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Re: Good luck on that one.@ Mister Justin

"Oh, this old canard. Isn't this what every "individualist" complains about wrt taxes? "

This is called a straw man, and is a popular argument of the hard of thinking.

The rights do not belong to government to assign, because they aren't paying for the industry. It's paid for by sponsors and advertisers, and to a lesser extent fans. It is owned (often) by foreign oligarchs, and it's their collective choice as to who they sell the rights to. Geolocation blocking is a legitimate way of maximising the property rights of the owners, in exactly the same way that luxury goods makers are legally allowed to block grey imports. I'm particularly impressed at your bizarre logic that says "if there is a tax on a good, you should have access to it regardless of your location". What are you smoking?

You might not like the outcome, but you must be particularly stupid if you think that it is the place of government to demand that you have access to FTA premier league football.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Good luck on that one.

"I'd be equally happy if it was Free To Air on one of the commercial channels, but as it isn't that presumably reflects the fact that the effective PAYG advertising revenues on terrestrial FTA broadcasts aren't sufficient to match the sports industry's costs."

Sports industry's costs have skyrocketed since SKY decided that it wanted the most popular international sports irrespective of costs, Murdoch knowing that fans would pay whatever he demanded. Whether sportsman are worth more than banksters, pop stars, slebs, generally, is a moot point, but the only winners are shareholders of SKY and manufacturers of Italian sports cars.

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Re: Good luck on that one.

Are you claiming that football is a public good?

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Re: Good luck on that one.@ Mister Justin

""if there is a tax on a good, you should have access to it regardless of your location". What are you smoking?"

My point is that in common marketplace, if you pay a tax on a service, and that service is part of the common marketplace, you should have access to said service within that marketplace.

With respect to broadcast rights; if there is a levy on broadcasting, which is paid to the rights holders, then you should have access to said broadcast. If there is an eu levy, then that access should be available in the common marketplace without additional charges.

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Re: Good luck on that one.@ Mister Justin

"Geolocation blocking is a legitimate way of maximising the property rights of the owners, in exactly the same way that luxury goods makers are legally allowed to block grey imports"

They're not the same at all. Blocked grey imports mean only that you have a lesser choice of which vendor to buy shit from - but you can still buy it.

Geolocation blocking is a case of "fuck you Charlie, you ain't getting shit".

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Silver badge

Re: Good luck on that one.

I don't understand your argument at all. There are many international events that don't get broadcast *at all*, let alone on FTA telly. Why should an international football match be more important than an international chess match, international synchronised swimming contest or the World aerobatic championship?

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Re: Good luck on that one.@ Mister Justin

"The rights do not belong to government to assign"

No, the rights do not *belong* to the government. Rather these ownership rights are *given* to the corporations by the people, with the hope that these corporation will use these rights appropriately. Ultimately, its up to the people to decide how these rights work. So, for instance, we have decided that these rights do not allow you to use monopoly power; we have decided that, for example, you cannot restrict sales based on these rights to people based on their race, or their sex. If a corporation tries to do that, then they will end up in court.

Currently, you are correct that geolocation is a legitimate use of those rights. But the people and the government can decide at any point that this is not legitimate. A perfectly reasonable thing to do, I think, in the same way that it is the phone companies no longer have the right to charge extortionate fees to people within the EU who come from different countries.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good luck on that one.

"Another case of us subsidising you lot down south (Crossrail, HS2, etc, etc...)"

Aye, that's right, with your high volume, high earning, tax paying northern population, generating all that income...

Oh, wait a sec....

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Re: Good luck on that one.

Ah yes, and the Scotland world cup song:

We're on the march with Ally's army

We're going to the Argentine,

And we'll really shake them up,

when we win the world cup,

cos Scotland are the greatest football team!!!

We're representing Britain, And we're gaunny do or die,

England cannae dae it, 'Cos they didnae qualify!

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Re: Good luck on that one.@ Mister Justin

Err no Geo Blocking runs contrary to the ethos off the EU, it must be treated as a single economic area.

You might argue for Region blocking, although I think that should be discouraged in Internet terms.

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Re: Good luck on that one.

"Aye, that's right, with your high volume, high earning, tax paying northern population, generating all that income..."

To reuse an old canard, even if you discount all the income we're creating from oil because it gets lumped into UK revenues rather than Scottish, the cash we get from the UK is then clawed back to pay for so-called "infrastructure" projects as HS2 (a line that will stop 200 miles south of us), Crossrail (a line that starts and stops 400 miles south of us) and a third runway for Heathrow (a road that will drain even more from us). Remind me how much you lot are paying for the new Forth Crossing (the what, I hear you ask?). Ah fuck it, you subsidise us and that's all we ever need to know.

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> Europe’s new digital chief’s passion for ending geo-blocking has been explained: he’s missing out on his beloved Estonian football. ... I find it’s blocked, blocked, blocked!

Well, yes. That's the thing about other countries. Why does he assume that doing this is "stealing", when he reckons that paying his (Estonian) licence / taxes should entitle him to watch the programmes he wants to?

BTW, there are more ways than setting up a VPN.

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What I gather from the article is that if he was in Estonia he would be able to watch his football because he pays his taxes there. But since he no lives in another country within the EU and still pays his Estonian taxes he feels that he should be able to still access his football.

I can see his point - it feels a bit like Apple telling me that the book I bought from them in the UK can't be read while I am in Australia. I've rented the right to read the book, the method of delivery is unchanged so no extra costs are required but due to unknown quirks in geographic location the book is not allowed to be read. (Note this is an example not an actual occurrence)

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Ah. You can see the problem there. YOU PAID FUCKING CRAPPLE FOR SOMETHING YOU FOOL.

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Silver badge

Oh, you mean

"can see his point - it feels a bit like Apple telling me that the book I bought from them in the UK can't be read while I am in Australia. I've rented the right to read the book, the method of delivery is unchanged so no extra costs are required but due to unknown quirks in geographic location the book is not allowed to be read"

Ah, a lot like regional coding on DVDs'???

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BBC does this too,

I had a BBC Worldwide license so I could use the worldwide version of Iplayer outside of the UK. But you can't use it inside the UK. Bloody insane

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Gold badge

Re: Oh, you mean

"Ah, a lot like regional coding on DVDs'???"

Yeah, but you see that (possibly because of the European common market), the whole of Europe is region 2, so if you want to buy your DVDs in Amazon UK, ship them to somewhere else in Europe and watch them there, you can. However, they do try to bend the rules by not putting sound tracks in certain languages; e.g. forcing you to buy the Spanish version of the DVD at 18€ instead of buying the UK version for £4.50.

What he's complaining about is things like Sky saying that you can't be a subscriber if you don't live in the UK (even if you have the necessary 3m dish!), or things like iPlayer saying bog-off because you aren't using a VPN.

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Re: Oh, you mean

"can see his point - it feels a bit like Apple telling me that the book I bought from them in the UK can't be read while I am in Australia.
Possibly,

But when he is in Brussels does he refrain from watching FTA Belgian TV on the grounds that he's only paying in Estonia?

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Re: Oh, you mean

The TV company wants it to be a common market when it comes to basing its head office in Ireland or declaring VAT in Luxemburg but wants to charge different customers in different Eu countries.

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Pint

Re: Oh, you mean

re: Yet Another Anonymous coward

You have hit the nail on the head.

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I am 100% in agreement with Mr Robot on this, and I'm delighted someone with some public voice is fighting the good fight.

I'm fed up with not being able to access BBC programs just because I live abroad. There's no technical reason why iPlayer can't work for me, and I'm perfectly willing to pay a subscription if that's what it takes... but I don't have the option. There's no technical, legal or financial reason for this - it's purely a matter of "f*** off, you filthy foreigners".

Even the radio podcasts (which we are permitted, as some sort of sop) are subject to arbitrary removal from their servers, and invariably make a point of telling me how nice iPlayer is. Thanks.

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Re: Oh, you mean

The only FTA TV left in Belgium are the 3 government run channels. One serious people channel, one popular and one for the tikes. Neither comes anywhere near the levels provided by the BBC. If he likes cyclocross, he may be in luck. For anything else, not so much.

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It's also because the BBC doesn't make programs it buys them.

I make pop-idol-bake-off-challenge-in-the-attic-on-ice and I offer ti to the BBC for X pounds and Canada for $Y and Australia for $Z - if the BBC says it is going to charge people in Australia and Canada to watch it on iPlayer then I'm going to charge the BBC X+Y+Z to make up for my lost revenue.

But it does get silly - I can't download an episode of some 30year old radio comedy because there is a bit of music in the background that the BBC don't have international rights to - or they don't want to spend a year of lawyers and 1000s to find out who owns it, played on it, arranged it, etc etc

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'There's no technical reason why iPlayer can't work for me, and I'm perfectly willing to pay a subscription if that's what it takes... but I don't have the option. There's no technical, legal or financial reason for this - it's purely a matter of "f*** off, you filthy foreigners".'

The reason is that it's the Beeb. You're confusing it with a competent organisation.

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There's no technical reason why iPlayer can't work for me, and I'm perfectly willing to pay a subscription if that's what it takes...

Correct, there is no technical reason. However, it would be a significant risk to the BBC to launch a subscription service for content.

Risk #1 - If subscription works, the UK public might, quite rightly, tell the beeb to jog on come licence fee time. The BBC know they have a bias problem, and that is why they refused to publish the Balen report, but they persistently refuse to address their problems - why then should anyone be compelled to pay for BBC if they choose to watch Sky or ITV / others instead?

Risk #2 - If nobody subscribes, it would evidence that the corporations best days were truly behind it, inevitably leading to calls for a signficant reduction in both the licence fee, and size of the BBC.

In the interests of full disclosure, I love the BBC. It produces/commissions a great many high quality programs. However, I stopped consuming any and all forms of BBC news a long time ago, after reaching the conclusion it was more or less Guardian[1] TV, with echoes of Pravda.

[1] The Guardian: Wrong about everything, all the time.

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If you can legally transport a copyrighted paperback book across borders then you should be able to transport any copyrighted data - so long as you've bought the content legally somewhere.

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Good point. But somebody has to make it available in Estonia first.

No, wait. They do:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_4_%28Estonia%29

Looks like another Euro moron needs educating.

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To be honest, what I feel more sorry for, is that even though people pay through the nose for access to watch football/rugby/etc, they still get adverts!! Cheeky fokkers!

If I pay a premium to watch content, I don't want to get advertised at as well :(

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Anonymous Coward

Bone of Contention

This is my annoyance with Sky as well, not only are they getting paid whopping great wodges of cash to air the adverts by the advertisers, they're also getting paid a significant amount by those that want their TV services, think wrinkly Rupert et al getting Eiffel Towered with rolls of cash.

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Re: Bone of Contention

Well those insane transfer fees and salaries for the players have to come from somewhere. At least here in the states a pretty sizable chunk of the pro sports pie (forget corrupt college sports) does goes to the players as it should (dirty unions the owners say).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bone of Contention

"Well those insane transfer fees and salaries for the players have to come from somewhere"

No, they really don't.

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Iterating: 1s+0s. Worth = £0. Amount of right anyone has to be paid for anything = 0%.

Get paid in advance or STFU.

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"Information doesn't want to be free"

by Cory Doctorow.

Of course most of you will already know about this, perhaps someone could give a spare copy to Andrus?

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I would not watch sport if they paid me.

Too much bleedin' sport on radio and telly.

Whoever dreamed up Radio5 Live as a sport and talk channel ignored the facts that;

a) sport is largely visual.

b) the sort of people who like talk radio are not always those who follow sports.

And is it really necessary for footie commentators to go into screaming mode every time the ball approaches the goal ? It's obviously fake -- and stressful to the listener.

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Re: I would not watch sport if they paid me.

I disagree. While the visual nature of sports can be compelling, good commentary can be gripping stuff. And of course being non-visual it doesn't mean you're glued to the TV/phone/monitor and can be up and around doing other things enjoying the commentary in the background.

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Re: I would not watch sport if they paid me.

Live sports are becoming more and more loved by media companies because its one of the forms of entertainment that loses the most value when its time shifted, so less people remove the commercials later and some of their $$$.

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Re: I would not watch sport if they paid me.

And is it really necessary for footie commentators to go into screaming mode every time the ball approaches the goal ? It's obviously fake...
Not if you are interested in sport. It's all about anticipation....

And if you don't like it, why are you listening to it?

PS: Cricket on the radio (TMS) is exteremely visual, at least in the imagination (if you have one). It's also legal to listening to it whilst driving (unlike watching TV).

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