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Government crackdown makes it harder for people like you and Tom Brady to stream live sports

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Even the fabulously wealthy Tom Brady gets his illegal stream on.

I’m not saying I would ever, ever, ever stream sports online. But I totally understand why people like Tom Brady do it. Whether you’re watching the Super bowl in Costa Rica like Brady did or  you’re a helpless victim of the NFL’s notorious blackout rules, or you just want to see the damn Sixers play the Heat and you don’t have Philadelphia CSN, live streaming sports can be key to the plugged-in sports lovers experience.

For bloggers like myself live streams can be key to being able to speak to the sport with authority. We don’t get free game film from the NFL or NBA etc. I personally rely on NFL game rewind to make sure I saw what I thought I saw, or to get caught up on a team before I write about them. In a perfect world I’d have satellite TV and could DVR games using NFL ticket. But guess what? I can’t get a satellite where I live, I have to have cable. And the NFL has an exclusive deal with DirectTV. My cable provider is Comcast.

Obviously SOPA and PIPA and ACTA and other legislation have really put “piracy” on the map again. So now the government has seized about 16 sites that stream live sports. More have popped up already but I can imagine the government is going to go all Whack-A-Mole here (at least for a little while). I can only hope for the sake of sports fans everywhere that this is like every other government crack down—they send a message for a while and then realize there’s no way they can possibly keep up with the internet’s steady-moving targets.

I wish that sports leagues (and record companies for that matter) would just get with the times. Nobody wants to pay $10 for a shitty cd with two good songs on it. And, nobody wants to pay 2389042038 to buy NFL ticket or 2389042038 to go to games + concessions + parking (not to mention traffic headaches in many areas of the country). Sometimes you just want to catch a good game without all the hassle and expense, and as long as ticket prices and cable prices are sky fucking high that’s not going to change.

People are going to continue to search for ways to view games online and I’m hoping that sports league see a need for their business model to adapt. To leagues, making an online package available is like giving up on people coming to the stadium. Silly line of thinking for the NFL since a good number of their seats are corporately-owned anyway. Plus, if I’m a Chargers fan living in New York, I’m not going to many Chargers games now am I? You’d have to be a hell of a fan (or rich) to go to Giants or Jets games just because you love football and live in the area.

Maybe this bothers me because it relates to my larger pet peeve of the lack of access to games for the average fan. Or maybe I just hate when I can’t get what I feel I deserve! I remember living in Philadelphia and rarely being able to see a Falcons game. It’s so much easier to realize my attachment to the team when I can watch them more often. There may be an upside to showing sports online that leagues just don’t see. Look at how simply talking about live sports via twitter has made games much more interesting.

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