As the 2014/15 football season kicks off, TV and online outlets have once again snapped up many of the media rights. Such paywalls prevent fans who don’t want to pay for satellite subscriptions or premium online services from seeing the goals until the BBC airs Match of the Day late on Saturday evening.
But now thanks to Twitter’s looping video service Vine and the ability to pause live TV, the goals are online before the replays have been shown.
Posting football moments on Vine is nothing new, and has been happening since Twitter started the service in June 2012. The practice became more popular than ever over the summer’s World Cup in Brazil, with many of the competition’s finest moments posted on the social network instantly.
— My Old Man Said (@oldmansaid) August 16, 2014
A combination of cheap hard drive recorders and a mobile video-oriented social network has made way for the inevitable: passionate fans sharing cherished moments for free with everyone else.
In the UK, the rights to show Premier League football remain in the hands of commercial broadcasters like BSkyB and BT who paid £3bn for exclusive rights to show live matches over a three year period. Online, News Corp’s The Sun and The Times have exclusive rights and that’s probably there where the Premier League is feeling pressured into speaking out.
“The use of Vines and GIFs to show Premier League football is a breach of copyright, and we would encourage fans to use legitimate means to access this content, such as The Sun or The Times goal apps.”
– Premier League spokesperson
The Premier League, the most-watched football league in the world, is now looking to use GIF and Vine crawlers to try and clamp-down on the activity, with Twitter’s co-operation. Of course, it’s highly unlikely such a widely adopted network will be able to police such content particularly when you take examples like YouTube – a shooting range for copyright infringement notices – into consideration.
Where To Look
Get the free Vine app for iPhone or Android and follow your team’s hashtag on matchday – e.g. #avfc or #chelsea. If you’re following enough football-related accounts you’ll probably have trouble avoiding the goals altogether and the #goal hashtag should also have plenty to offer. You don’t necessarily have to use a phone of course, as there are other ways of viewing the looping videos.
— Manchester United (@praveensapkota) August 16, 2014
On Twitter, hashtags are also your friend – append #goal to a search term and and away you go. I found the Tweet above by searching for “#swansea goal vine“, for example. You might also find match-specific hashtags work, particularly for internationals.
Reddit is another worthwhile source for the latest goals, albeit in GIF form. These aren’t usually posted as quickly as they are to Vine and also lack (usually tinny and inaudible) sound. r/soccer is the place to go come matchday.
— Manchester United (@praveensapkota) August 18, 2014
The Vine mobile app is another sound choice and while hashtags and search queries will serve you well here, you might find a few dedicated accounts posting what you’re after. @footballvines is probably the most well-known, but many more exist! The race to get content online usually wins over quality or camera skills, but there will be enough videos posted within a few minutes to have a choice even in this regard.
The alternative is to download the Sun Goals app for iOS or Android which requires a subscription to Sun+, and has some strange UEFA restrictions in place, stating “near-live video content is unavailable on Saturdays between 14.45 – 17.15”.
Like the rise of file sharing and eBooks, habits are changing – and that goes for the way we share and consume media too. Other leagues like US Major League Soccer has a YouTube channel full of goals that are posted soon after they happen, and Germany’s Bundesliga has a similar system in place. Everyone is adapting but the Premier League, it seems.
Do you watch goals on Vine? Maybe you pay for a Sun+ or other subscription? Leave a comment, below.
Image Credits: Corner Kick! (ZeroOne)