Thursday, July 12, 2007

Versus TdF Live Feed


"I've removed the link to the Versus live feed at the request of the Versus legal department. It's only a matter of time before they find the leak from within their operation and I'm not interested in ticking off Versus. They're probably taking some heat from the Tour de France because of the country broadcast restrictions A.S.O. impose on each live video provider. Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted."

A few other sites also noted that they were contacted by Versus legal department to remove the link, so I'll also comply.

Serbian TV (worked on Tuesday), or check

Update 7/13 8am, from
Versus live video streaming update

We have some information on what's up with the Versus live video streaming, direct from Versus lawyer, Carla. Carla says that Versus is not permitted to publicly stream the Tour de France. (Though she didn't elaborate, presumably that means they didn't purchase online broadcast rights; television and internet rights tend to be sold separately. Note that in some European markets, internet rights to the Tour de France have been sold and in other markets they remain unsold.) So the scenario whereby Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.), who appear in our site logs since Monday (hi Jean-Fran├žois!), put pressure on Versus seems likely.

In other words, the stream is not meant for public consumption and Versus was getting heat for it being out there. Carla says that they believe they have corrected the "problem" by blocking access to the stream. (Why didn't they do that in the first place?)

This raises the question of what that brief, announced live streaming on the Versus site last weekend was all about. Did someone in the Versus internet department simply screw up? Was it a deliberate publicity stunt early in the Tour to get more viewers for the TV broadcasts?

Carla has again asked the Versus internet department to contact us, though the main questions are all answered now: there is no stream for public consumption and there will be no stream for public consumption, free or otherwise. The news is not good but thanks for the responses, Carla.

So Versus had a contractual obligation to prevent public access to the stream. They failed to do that ahead of time. Carla added that "any diversion of viewers to the Internet or elsewhere that detracts from potential viewership of the television coverage affects advertising support and impairs our ability to cover events of this nature." But clearly Versus simply do not believe in streaming the race over the internet themselves either.

Many people have written to us saying that they watched the commercials during those few days when the live video streaming was out there. It would be interesting to hear directly from the sponsors on this...

Maybe we should block A.S.O. from accessing our site... ;-)

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