Playing Defense: Social media users pose a threat to SEC sports teams

Publication Date: 9/2009

Source: SO01 Public Relations Tactics
Product Code: 6C-090905
Organization/Author/Firm: Amy Jacques
Industry: Sports
Specialization(s): Social Media
Tactics: New Communications Media - RSS, Blogs, Podcasting
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The Southeastern Conference, one of the nation’s leading collegiate sports leagues, issued new rules that prohibit fans from disseminating videos and photos for commercial use in real time during games, according to an Aug. 20 article in The New York Times.

Casual fans should not be affected, but instead the rules are aimed at social media users who regularly copy TV broadcasts and create their own highlight reels and post them on sites — also charging fees for advertisers and those who access the sites.

SEC spokesman Charles Bloom noted that enforcing a policy banning personal messages or short game descriptions via Twitter or Facebook would be “impractical and counterproductive,” as these social media tools help promote the conference.

Many fans have created unofficial Web sites for their favorite teams. As these sites are frequently updated, they have become competitors for other traditional media outlets and advertisers.

The new rules aim to protect endless video footage and archives that the conference will use to market to fans in the fall, called the SEC Digital Network.

Issues such as the live streaming of games and play-by-play blogging have already become part of the controversy. And as technology continues to rapidly develop, the SEC wants to protect itself against new innovations in the future..