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The Future Of Watching Sports On Broadband Is Here

laptop user The Future Of Watching Sports On Broadband Is Here

Now suspend your disbelief for a minute, and imagine the following scenario. What would you say if you had the following service available online?

  • A mix channel where you could watch up to nine games all once on your screen (or you could watch one at a time, or a few at a time — your choice),
  • High-quality streaming video compatible on a PC/Mac,
  • HD quality picture (where available),
  • Live game DVR functionality,
  • Live game picture-in-picture,
  • Player tracker,
  • Home and away feeds (where available),
  • Live game radio option (where available),
  • Archived and condensed games,
  • Best of all, all games would be available online (unless you live in the area near the home team — in which case, the live Internet streaming would be blacked out), and
  • Last but not least, a very reliable service that would be dependable and would actually work flawlessly.

It would be legal, high quality and the features would be like nothing you’ve seen before and not available anywhere else.

Now, honestly, how much would you be willing to pay for this per month? Think about that, and then keep that price in your head (and don’t change it).

After you have that price in your head that you’d be willing to pay, click the link to read the rest of the story to find out all of the details.

Now, what would you say if I told you that this incredible online service already exists? Except that it’s not available for Premier League followers, but it’s instead available for Major League Baseball fans.

MLB.TV Premium is available for an incredibly low price of $19.95 per year. And unlike the Premier League, baseball doesn’t have an average of ten games per week. Instead there are literally 100′s of games per week.

In addition to the annual subscription of just $19.95, you also need to get either a Boxee or Roku player to watch the live and archived games. The Roku player is $99 (which also allows you to watch movies and more, for an additional cost, if you’re interested).

To see the wealth of features available, take a minute and play this impressive video that showcases MLB.TV Premium. You can also watch these review videos on YouTube (here and you can see a great example of the mix/mosaic feature here).

Now, of course, this isn’t a baseball website. But the above example of MLB.TV Premium goes to show how much Premier League broadband coverage is in the stone age.

The biggest difference for me is that it’s the league that’s controlling the content. In the current Premier League model, the league licenses out the broadband rights on a region-by-region basis which is often confusing to the football supporter and the quality and service of the content is sometimes suspect.

With a model similar to Major League Baseball, the Premier League could maintain control, maximize profits and reduce piracy by giving football supporters worldwide a product that is far more superior and reliable than illegal streams. The Premier League could make more money using this model, which would in turn allow them to put more money into the bank accounts of Premier League clubs.

The argument that some Premier League clubs would make is that they could offer their own broadband channel and market that themselves. While this is true, it would be far wiser and more profitable for all 20 Premier League clubs to ratify an agreement to allow the Premier League to market its online content worldwide under one service.

Piracy remains a rampant problem worldwide for the Premier League. But if it was to create a package similar to MLB.TV Premium that offered all of the games online for $19.95 (after purchasing a $99 Roku player), who would pass up this unbelievable opportunity?

I’d be interested in reading your comments about what initial price you considered fair for the features I mentioned earlier in this article. Please click the comments link below to share.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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