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Periscope and Meerkat Live Streaming of NHL Games is Banned

April 24, 2015 - Written By Cory McNutt

Things can happen fast on the internet when money is involved and that is exactly what happened to video streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope.  When the NHL caught wind of what was going on, they immediately put the kibosh on fans that were hoping to live-stream their experience at a real NHL game.  NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said, “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.”

This all happened in less than a week after Meerkat – an app that allows you to live-stream for a few minutes – launched a sign-up sheet for their Android beta version.  Twitter wasted no time launching their own iOS version called Periscope, which will eventually find its way over to our Android world.  While Daly and the NHL certainly have the legal right to prohibit live video transmissions of its games, Hollywood does not seem as concerned with the consequences.  While you are certainly prohibited from live-streaming a feature film, the National Association of Theatre Owners, in an interview earlier this month, said they do not have any problem with Meerkat and Periscope eating into their box office revenues.

If you guessed that this all comes down to money – while it will hardly hurt the NHL to have a fan live-stream a few minutes of a game, the NHL has an official Periscope account (@nhl) of its own with more than 22,000 followers that keeps growing.  The NHL can use that for pregame and postgame interviews, team warm ups, and much more…they do not want just any old fan to get that same information out to a live-stream.  The NHL has not yet listed what penalties will be enforced and instead, just the info that the ban is before, during and after the games. In short, they covered all of their bases.  Although, bases are more commonly associated with Baseball, the MLB seems to be taking a more realistic approach.  Bob Bowman, MLB Advanced Media CEO and president told CNBC that he doesn’t believe live-streaming will become a problem, stating “No fan goes to our game with the thought of streaming live a half an inning of a game.  They’ve been capturing images of our players for a long time, and you have to allow that kind of activity.”