NFL Takes Control of its Content

Here’s a USA Today article about the NFL and trying to wrestle control of its content away from traditional media outlets. Local TV crews are now limited as to how many seconds of NFL highlights and interviews they can broadcast.

As they expand the reach of the NFL Network, the NFL is now on iTunes. Since I still don’t have a TV (I was told that it is on order, again), I thought I would see what this NFL on iTunes thing was all about. You pick a team (I picked the Steelers) and you can subscribe to weekly video highlights. Pay one price at the beginning of the season ($25) and each week, the highlights are downloaded to your computer.

The free preview, though, is somewhat deceiving. This generic, last season wrap-up is produced by NFL Films, which means it is very slick. Great camera work, great editing, that familiar booming narrator’s voice. And it was in sharp resolution and wide screen. Even on my laptop, this looked cool. I signed up.

Well, this morning I got the first week’s highlights. It was pretty quick turnaround, but was very disappointing. It was the tv telecast, complete with mediocre resolution, tv aspect ratio, tv announcers and all the stuff that appears on the screen during games (a score crawl at the bottom). The game was edited down to about 15 minutes, so it is a better use of time, but imagine if I planned to watch this on my tv. I’ve paid my money, and it will be okay to get these highlights, but wouldn’t have been cooler to take a couple extra days and do this right. The NFL and Apple really missed the boat on this one. If I wanted tv, I could just watch tv (if I had one).

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