This is a positive step forward for Premier League fans in the United States, especially those who experience the EPL online. But what does the news actually mean and how will it work? EPL Talk has the answers and we can exclusively reveal that:
- The Internet highlights will be offered for free on FoxSoccer.com and will possibly be syndicated elsewhere.
- Mobile details are still in discussion, but they will probably be available as part of carrier video services offered on a subscription basis.
- The majority of Internet highlights will be available on Sundays at midnight. Highlights of Monday and midweek matches will be delayed by 24 hours.
To me, the mobile TV rights are more exciting than the Internet highlights. As the press release states, “The mobile package also features ‘in-match’ highlights allowing users to get their BPL highlights ‘on-the-go’ in near-real time,” which would be a perfect remedy for people who are away from their TV sets or those who have to work on weekends.
While the availability of Internet highlights is impressive, my concern is that the offering — which is essentially a Monday morning highlights package — won’t be very timely for the die-hard Premier League fan. After the EPL games on a Saturday morning, waiting until Monday morning may seem like an eternity. (Remember that the EPL Review Show is available on Sunday nights on Fox Soccer Channel).
The issue is compounded by the timeliness and availability of YouTube, who sometimes are able to provide highlights of matches just minutes after goals are scored. Two recent developments regarding this are the Premier League suing YouTube (May 4th) and YouTube testing copyright screening technology (June 12th).
Of course, even if the Premier League is able to stop game highlights from being posted on YouTube (and that’s a HUGE if due to the nature of user generated content and the sheer number of videos uploaded each day that would be practically impossible to police), there are hundreds of other sites out there that are similar to YouTube.
While impossible to control these other sites, what the Internet highlights package will provide Fox Soccer Channel is higher traffic to their site. Rather than scour through YouTube or visit sites such as 101greatgoals.com, Premier League fans will be able to visit one site on Monday morning for the highlights they may have missed.