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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Southeastern Conference bans social media at sports events

"No Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or TwitPic!" That's the dictate being sent to sports fans and students of Southeastern Conference member schools if they want to attend athletic events. Under its newly adopted media policy, the SEC has informed its schools that "Ticketed fans can't produce or disseminate (or aid in producing or disseminating) any material or information about the Event, including, but not limited to, any account, description, picture, video, audio, reproduction or other information concerning the Event."

It's effectively a ban on all so-called "social media". Per the new regs, a fan could get ejected from the premises simply for using his iPhone to take a picture of himself at a Gators football game and sending it to his friends on Facebook.

So what's behind this boneheaded move? The $3 billion contact with CBS for the next 15 years, giving that network exclusive media rights to cover SEC games. In other words: if you go to an SEC event, you and your cellphone are potential competition to a multi-billion dollar broadcast television corporation equipped with the latest cutting-edge high definition technology.

This isn't entirely unheard of, but for a collegiate athletic conference to crack down on the fans themselves is certainly new (and treacherous) ground to tread. Not to mention darn near unenforceable.


Lee Shelton said...

It's a good thing I realized my lifelong dream of seeing LSU play in Tiger Stadium back in 2004. It's sad to see college football going the way of the NFL.

Lee Shelton said...

Of course, that's been the case for quite a while now.