An interesting article came across my twitter feed this afternoon. Apparently the Australian Football League has approached Google to broadcast matches live on YouTube. If this is true it would not be anything new in the sporting world. It wouldn’t even be new for Australian rules football.
The North East Australian Football League broadcast games through their YouTube channel each week. Even the representative game gets broadcast.
If the AFL follows the NEAFLs model, the audience will be able to watch replays of the match without said replay being otherwise uploaded.
There are, however, a couple of issues with Google getting the rights. First is Australia’s anti-syphoning laws. In short these laws require curtain events to be offered for broadcast to Free to Air television networks. The list of events includes all AFL matches. Channel Seven have, in recent years, waived outright five matches each week. The other four matches they’ve only waived in part.
The other issue the Australian Football League would face is internet bandwidth. The AFL would be looking at about nine or ten gigabytes per match. There being nine matches each week, this works out to be about ninety gigabytes a week. An audience member watching even a three or four games would chew through there home data allowance fairly quickly, their mobile data definitely.
It will be interesting if this amounts to something.