The AFL Just Realised People Watch TV Online

afl-mbpToday's report in the Herald Sun that AFL chief operating officer Gillon McLachlan has recently discovered that AFL matches are being streamed online via services like Justin.TV just goes to show how incredibly out of touch the people who make decisions about TV sports rights are.

McLachlan apparently only discovered this yesterday, even though it has been going on all season, and was last night trying to block it from happening. Good luck with that...

What the AFL (and the TV networks in general, really) fail to realise is that services like Justin.TV and other online P2P video streaming services are merely filling a void – if they actually bothered to offer their own IPTV solution, not only would they be able to reach a much larger audience by catering to those who don't have access to the TV broadcasts, but also make a bit of coin through targeted, unobtrusive advertising. Sure, they've got an agreement with BigPond for some streaming to occur, but it's locked to certain countries and fails to really embrace the idea of a global web.

There's still a couple of years to go on the current AFL TV deal, but let's hope that when the networks start negotiating the next deal, they throw in an enticing IPTV component as well...

[Sun Herald via TV Tonight]

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