Joost Faces Tough Competition Despite Offering EPL Highlights to More Countries

joost1.gifA couple of weeks ago, EPL Talk reported that Joost will be offering highlights of Premier League soccer to customers in India beginning in August. Now, Joost has announced that they’re expanding the Premier League highlights package to include eight other areas around the world, namely the Middle East, North Africa, Brazil, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, New Zealand and Oceania.

While the offering from Joost is wonderful news for soccer fans, especially because the offering is free, it comes at an unusual time for Joost, the company from the founders of Skype.

Reason being is that top technical blog TechCrunch is reporting that Joost is undergoing a major restructuring to focus more on the U.S. market instead of overseas.

The Sunday Times, meanwhile, is reporting that Joost has struggled to convince media and sports companies to sell its global rights, which are normally parcelled out to broadcasters country by country.

However, this statement is in direct contrast to the recent deals that Joost has completed to bring Premier League highlights to audiences around the world. And the Premier League, after all, is the world’s most popular sports league with more viewers than the second-placed NFL.

The Sunday Times article, written by James Ashton, goes on to mention the popularity of the BBC iPlayer. However what The Times doesn’t mention is that the media on BBC iPlayer is unplayable outside of the UK due to rights restrictions. While The Times claims in the article that the BBC iPlayer gets 500,000 programme downloads a day, does that include the radio broadcasts which are part of the BBC iPlayer?

Editor’s note: The answer is that the BBC iPlayer numbers do not include audio streams/downloads, according to the BBC’s Press Office.

One video player that The Times does mention in its article that will be a serious competitor to Joost is Hulu, the website from NBC and News Corp (owners of Fox). Hulu has already secured sports highlights for the NBA and NHL.

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