2010-11 Premier League Opening Day Fixtures Fiasco

Feb. 11, 2010 - 05461540 date 10 02 2010 Copyright imago BPI William Gallas of Arsenal is restrained by team Mates AS He argues with Daniel Agger of Liverpool Right PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxFRAxNEDxESPxSWExPOLxCHNxJPN men Football England Premier League 2009 London Action shot Vdig 2010 horizontal premiumd Football.

Yay! The new fixtures for the 2010-11 Premier League season have been announced. And all around the world we soccer fans are rubbing our hands with glee at the thought of who our team will play on the opening day of the new season, scheduled to kick off on Saturday, August 14.

If I sound slightly sarcastic, it’s intentional. While I like perusing the new fixtures just as much as you do, I’m legally not allowed to show them to you. That’s because of an archaic (and ridiculous) law that makes the Premier League fixtures licensed information. And because it’s licensed, I would have to pay a fee of £4,244 to list them for the whole season. That is, in US currency, $6,277.

The management of the licenses for the Premier League (and Football League) is done by a company called Football DataCo, which is owned by the Premier League and Football League. The money accrued by Football DataCo is then split among the clubs in the Premier League, Football League and Scottish Football League clubs. To police the Internet to ensure that websites that are publishing fixtures have paid their license fees, Football DataCo uses NetResult, a UK based company that is also hired by the Premier League to shut down websites that illegally show highlights of Premier League action or live streams.

I, along with presumably hundreds of other bloggers and website owners, received a “friendly” e-mail from NetResult recently warning us that “Football DataCo Limited vigorously polices and protects the Leagues’ commercial rights, including the Leagues intellectual property rights in the fixture lists. On behalf of Football DataCo Limited, NetResult will be regularly monitoring web sites to ensure that the Leagues’ intellectual property rights are not infringed.”

And, with their capitalist’s hat on, NetResult reminded us that “The display or use of other materials owned or controlled by the Leagues (including, but not limited to photographs and logos) may require a separate additional licence which can also be obtained via Football DataCo Limited.” Oooh, lovely. Not only can I pay $6,277 for the fixtures, but I can also sign up to pay to use the logo of the Premier League and its clubs, as well as photographs. Wonderful.

The letter from NetResult is reprinted here (click the image for a larger version):

Oh, I almost forgot. Here are the fixtures — in honor of Pro Evolution Soccer’s fake team names — for the opening day of the 2010-11 Premier League season:

  • Merseyside Red against CENSORED should be a great clash on the opening day, don’t you think?

    The complete (and licensed) fixtures for the 2010-11 Premier League season can be found on the Premier League website.

    9 thoughts on “2010-11 Premier League Opening Day Fixtures Fiasco”

    1. it’s a very sad world we are living, paying to show some fixtures on a blog, what’s next? We won’t be allowed to refer to teams by their real name in all of our posts?

    2. As a relative newcomer to following the EPL and football, these kinds of policies always baffled me, and shows the people making the decisions don’t really have the best business minds.

      Why would you put rules in place like this that act as a hindrance for people to enjoy your product? Same for some of the silly blackout periods before and during game broadcasts, or expecting people to pay a la carte for game highlights.

      In each of these cases if you make them available for free you help promote and foster fans of your team and your sport, which should result in more revenue from the real revenue streams – ticket sales, TV money, kit sales and merchandise, etc.

    3. It would be good if we had any team left to play with!
      Come the start of the season who is going to play, it is going to be a mass exodus from LFC this summer…

      Latest from the Kop is Gerrard has sign in principal to Real Madrid – depending on the manager… however, I feel this is scare tactics, as they want the Kop to back Kenny Dalgleish.

      PASSIONATE ABOUT SOCCER: Please follow our cause http://www.oi-fa.com/petition.aspx

    4. ha ha, well can you tell us the “television schedule” or speculate. I have a funny feeling Newcastle will play Man U. The Gunners are playing the Reds, The Blues vs the Baggies..

      But seriously, there must be a technical way around that besides using video game names.

      1. The TV schedule for August 14-15 should be relatively easy to figure out.

        We expect BSkyB to take:

        Chelsea vs West Brom
        Liverpool vs Arsenal
        Man Utd vs Newcastle

        ESPN2 US will have the two matches on Saturday at 1245 London Time (7:45am ET) and Sunday at 1330 London Time (8:30am ET).

        FSC & FSE will have the match on Sunday at 1600 London Time (11am ET).

        That would leave Tottenham vs Man City for ESPN UK on Saturday at 1730 London Time. That match will air in the US on FSC and FSE. (Note that Tottenham vs Man City MUST be played on SATURDAY because Tottenham will have to play UEFA Champions League playoff round match during mid-week on August 17 or 18.)

    5. Chris – we just got an email from them as well. Just goes to show you how far stuck up their own asses these leagues are. We are providing free publicity for them, yet they don’t seem to want it.

      1. Tell me about it. It’s ridiculous. They even said I couldn’t use fictitious names for the teams because readers would be able to assume what the fixtures were.

        Sadly, all they’re interested in is generating revenue than getting free publicity. They’re in the stone ages.

        The Gaffer

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