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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Guaranteed sports delivery: an idea I'd never use

Here's another idea I had some time back. It's for a service which I would never personally use, but I know several individuals who would get a lot out of it. It's based on my observations of their antics when trying to navigate the messes that come from sports broadcast contracts.

I've watched friends and family members go to great lengths to see "their team" play. It doesn't seem to matter whether it's college or pro or just a bunch of random people running around on a field somewhere. Once in a while, there will be some stupid exclusive deal or location-based lockout which keeps the game from being seen in their area. Other times, it simply isn't available on any channel which has national coverage.

One time I was drafted to find a solution, and the answer turned out to be "buy an Echostar/Dish Network system just for one channel". This wound up to work just fine... until that team no longer had a deal with that channel any more and disappeared a year or two later. The only lasting utility from that short-lived setup was that our now-idle dish gave me a way to experiment with pulling in test signals from the 119 slot.

So here is my idea: someone needs to make a service which takes care of all of the legal and technical clearances and other stupidity which is required to deliver a game. They go to the trouble of setting up contracts and working out methods of getting the content from wherever the game is being played all the way to their subscribers.

The concept here is that the sports fans already have to do this to some degree, and sometimes find themselves unable to route around these issues. I have a feeling some of them would be willing to pay someone to take on that challenge for them and work out all of the details so that all they have to do is just sit down and turn on the TV to watch their games.

Again, personally, I have no use for anything of the sort, but I do know a number of people who really care about seeing their favorite teams play. Combine that kind of motivation with a "shut up and take my money" mindset and there might be a product here.