You can be a fan of hockey, and you can be a fan of iPhone live streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat, but according to the National Hockey League, you can’t be both. The NHL has just laid down the proverbial banhammer on Periscope and Meerkat.
According to a new NHL rule issued yesterday by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, any one livestreaming inside an arena “before, during, and after” games will face unspecified penalties.
“Without limiting the generality of the credential language, any streaming of footage in violation of the NHL’s Broadcast Guidelines (including, for example, live-streaming inside the arena less than 30 minutes before the start of the game) and Media Access Policy is expressly prohibited,” he said in the memo.
The penalties the NHL are talking here are probably the same as anyone caught rebroadcasting an NHL game in any other medium: prosecution and/or heavy fines.
Why does the NHL feel like it needs to crack down on Meerkat and Periscope? They don’t say, although it’s easy to speculate that the NHL is worried that live-streaming users will eat their future lunch. The NHL, after all, does have a Periscope account @nhl. That’s a possible future revenue stream. Why let other users broadcast for free?
As Mashable points out, “the branding opportunities for organizations like the NHL seem pretty limitless: rinkside live streams of team warm-ups, exclusive interviews with players and coaches, the list goes on.”
Will other major sports leagues follow suit? It’s unknown, although the MLB has, at the very least, come out to say that they have no problem with peeople Periscoping and Meerkating inside a stadium. Seems like they realize that a tiny little iPhone camera can’t really capture the full spectacle of a live game.