Friday, March 13, 2015

Business opportunity: beat the sports blackouts.

Maybe such a service or product already exists but I have not seen it yet.  Both of these failed miserably:

Cruise back through recent posts to wallow in details but the basic problems were:
- they do not work, certainly not consistently
- they do not address the sports blackout in the USA.

Here's what can make money for someone:
- address specific U.S. sports: NCAA basketball tournament, NBA, MLB.
- let the user specify his (it's going to be guys almost exclusively) home market.

For instance, here in New York Major League Baseball (MLB) with it's streaming video package will blackout the Yankees and Mets.  If I'm willing to pay for a subscription to, why wouldn't I just subscribe to MLB Extra Innings, its TV version.  Two basic reasons, which also apply to the NBA (don't know about NCAA):
1. MLB Extra Innings package: many channels NOT HD.  Wednesday, March 4, 2015
2. using the Internet version of the sports package, the user has the possibility to cut some of the cord and downgrade from an outrageously overpriced TV package to something less expensive or to nothing.

Most of the cord cutting stuff that's written seems geared towards beings from outer space who have no interest in sports.  The big boom in TV viewing is not movies but live sports.  That's what drives up the money, it's from those huge TV contracts.  The sports leagues receive mega money.  Then much of the cost is spread to "cable" customers, especially to pay for ESPN whether they watch it or not.

Currently to get the local sports teams from Verizon FIOS I must subscribe to a combo of HBO and Showtime, which, if I'm lucky, provide maybe one watchable movie a month.  I'd rather dump them both and pay less but I cannot without losing the New York teams.  I could if I switched to Cablevision and I tried that but the Cablevision installer insisted on performing his installation in a town in which I did not live, so after a full day of consternation I cancelled my order even though it would have been $30 less per month than Verizon.  At least Verizon could keep track of where I lived.

That's when I started looking at alternatives and tried subscribing to the packages that provided all the games for the NBA and MLB, but which unfortunately, black out the local teams.  You can see how this circle was formed.

So come on.  How about some semi-smart person using the existing, though far from perfect, technology being wasted by the services mentioned at the top of this post?  Those services apparently cater to paranoid people, not red blooded American guys who don't really worry so much about their messages being read but who want their sports provided their way.

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