Football rights value soars in wake of TV Now lawsuit
Hang on, that can’t be right
As previously noted by The Register, the rent-seekers of the rights industry and their rentable shills have warned of doom and dire disaster in the wake of the “football versus Optus” court case.
If Optus’ TV Now service isn’t squashed by the High Court or legislation, they argue, then rights to live sports will be worthless, civilization will collapse, and our children will crouch in circles warming themselves by little lumps of coal instead of learning to emulate the big hits and booze culture that Made This Country Great.
Someone, however, seems to have forgotten to warn Australia’s broadcasters of the impending collapse of civilization and, as a result, there’s talk of “rugby league’s biggest payday”.
This piece in Australia’s Daily Telegraph outlines an emerging bidding war as the result of Lachlan Murdoch being installed as chairman of Channel 10. For the first time in decades, there’s speculation that a second free-to-air broadcaster might try to win the rights to show games.
And this could result in bids for TV rights reaching into the same stratospheric billion-plus heights as is enjoyed by the AFL, the country’s other major TV football code.
It will, however, make the High Court appeal hearings hilarious to anyone who wants to attend: the game’s lawyers will have to cry poor with an utterly straight face, knowing that the instant Optus’ lawyers rise to their feet, they’ll be asking about the progress of broadcast negotiations and wondering why there’s any ‘bidding war’ over something allegedly worthless.
The end of the world
The world ended when VCRs didn't get banned, then again when MP3 players didn't get banned.
So no biggie if the world ends again.
Not a surprise at all really
Previously the TV stations bid for the "TV" rights, and the Telco's bid for the "online" rights.
Two recent Federal Court rulings (this one and the radio one) have both clearly said that the "market" is for viewers, and not the medium of delivery. So now both TV stations and Telco's are in the same market, and get to compete against each other. More buyers in the market, prices go up.
So if the value of the rights is going to soar, then more needs to be done to ensure the money is used in a more socially responsible manner. We have professional sports players and associated crew who are paid more than the bankers we hate.
Clubs, TV, media, etc need to spread the money better across lower level clubs to encourage grass roots sport and improve communities. It is, after all, simply an investment on their own future, something most of them haven't until now properly embraced.
If ever there was justification for an 75% tax band it is professional footballers.