All Dinosaurs Go Extinct: A Word for the LFP

This doesn’t really directly relate to Sevilla, other than that there is discussion around these parts about TV revenue, etc, and of course the LFP is too busy tripping over its own feet to do anything even remotely this forward-thinking, but I recently discovered that the professional league here in the US, the MLS, has this incredible deal wherein they stream basically the entire season (minus local games and national games…eh, nothing’s perfect) to your computer/iPhone/iPad, in HD, with DVR, probably streaming to Apple TV and other TV devices soon, etc, for $60 (it was recently on sale for $40). For the whole season. That’s a month of a cable bill for a service that wouldn’t get you as many games in any given month as this service, for THE WHOLE SEASON.

Now I’ll admit that I’m not a huge MLS fan (and as an American I feel weirdly guilty about that–I want to support the league because I want the national team to get better, but it’s like watching the EPL: tons of athleticism but relatively little skill or overall purpose with the ball), and I’ll also acknowledge that this is a price the market will support (which is to say that a season of LFP or EPL would likely cost more). But doesn’t it seem crazy that the bigger European leagues don’t offer something like this? I use these crappy streams every weekend, but I hate them–I hate looking for them, I hate when they die, I hate their poor quality, I hate that I can’t rewind; I’d happily pay $100 or even $120 for a similar season pass/feature set for La Liga.

The fact that right now in Spain the LFP is still reeling from its stupid failed strike, and that when they get back to work the debate will be all about how much money RM/Barca should get again is so frustrating when you look at opportunities like this, especially when the opportunities could make my ability to watch games so much better. It’s even more demoralizing to think that probably the LFP will go through the phase of aggressively shutting streams down (as the EPL does now) for several years before they finally realize that people watching games on the internet is a market to exploit, not destroy.

To me, the “RM and Barca are the biggest teams, so we should give them more money” line of reasoning is a perfect parallel to every other industry’s short-sighted approach to revenue protection vs. innovation and investment. Why invest in 18 less appealing teams when you could just make these 2 teams even more marketable? How could this idea possibly come back to bite anyone in the ass? Surely we’re not seeing similar approaches hurt the music, film, TV, and health care industries, right? Focusing effort and debate on this silly revenue protection, instead of looking into creative ways to invest in and further monetize the league (like an online “season pass”) is hardly unique to the LFP, but it really burns me knowing that the LFP will be the very last big league to wake up to this idea.

Pull your head out, LFP.