Tackling social media but not scoring
August 18th, 2009

The Southeastern Conference is trying to ban spectators from using social media during games. The motive is apparently about keeping eyeballs on the broadcasters who are paying big bucks for game rights. Hum. . . . this might be a whole new set of issues for college sports — not that they need them. Here is some of the flavor from Wired Campus and three links in their story:

This month the Southeastern Conference, an organization of 12 top-ranked collegiate sports programs, notified its members that it was updating its social-media policy, effectively banning fans from taking video, photos, or updating Facebook or Twitter accounts during games.

But as the St. Petersburg Times points out, the conference is not changing the rules to get its fans to pay more attention to the action, instead of their phones. At the end of the day, it’s all about money.

“A conference spokesman said this policy was meant to try to keep as many eyeballs as possible on ESPN and CBS — which are paying the SEC $3-billion for the broadcast rights to the conference’s games over the next 15 years,” the Times says. “And also on the SEC Digital Network — the conference’s own entity that’s scheduled to debut on SECSports.com later this month.”

But after a storm of negative publicity from several media Web sites and blogs, it seems the conference may be shying away from the new bans.


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