The NHL Playoffs are uniquely intense and an absolute blast to witness live, so it only makes sense that social media users who have taken a shine to live-streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope would want to share their experience at NHL games.
But they’ll no longer be able to do so.
We have been advised that certain individuals attending NHL games pursuant to credentialed access are streaming live footage from inside NHL arenas before, during and after NHL games using technology offered by companies such as Periscope and Meerkat. As a reminder, NHL media credentials prohibit any ‘unauthorized use of any transmission, picture or other depiction or description of game action, game information, player interview or other arena activity … without prior written approval of’ NHL or the team as applicable.
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.
That’s a lot of legalese that’s basically a threat to any attendees who want to livestream something from an NHL arena before, during or after games.
Orange County Register’s hockey writer Rich Hammond shot back at the NHL in a fiery tweet:
Dear media, Please don’t do anything to enhance fan interest in our game. Signed, The NHL
— Rich Hammond (@Rich_Hammond) April 21, 2015
Why would the NHL (or any such organization) want to restrict access to interested fans? Money, of course.
From Sports Illustrated:
The NHL has accepted more than $7 billion in exchange for broadcast rights in the United States and Canada during the past couple of years, so preserving the full value in those agreements in the face of changing and potentially infringing technology makes good business sense.
It should be noted that the NHL has its own Periscope account with more than 22,000 followers. The prevailing theory is that the NHL saw that fans were interested in watching live streaming of certain practice, pregame and postgame activities. Light bulb: We (the NHL) should be streaming this stuff—not members of the media.
Hey, NHL: The jerk store called, and they’re running out of you.