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Is social media making TV rights for football almost worthless?

The Barclays Premier League is, by and large, the biggest football league in the world. With teams earning over £60M just for getting promoted into the league, it’s no wonder TV companies are constantly battling to earn the rights to broadcast it on their channel.

This statement was backed up recently when Sky Sports paid a whopping £2.3bn for the rights to broadcast 116 Premier League games a season over a three year period, that works out at £6.6M per game.

This was then followed by a deal from Sky’s rival BT Sport to broadcast 38 games a season over the same time period as Sky. This set BT back £738M, which works out at nearly £6.5M per game.

With numbers like these, the Premier League earns over £1bn a year, just from domestic television rights. But with money like this being thrown about in the broadcasting world of football, is social media slowly making a lot of that investment worthless?

Something which has evolved due to the creation of new technology is live text commentary. All major football websites, like Sky and BBC, will usually always have a reporter at every Premier League doing live commentary.

But with live streams across the internet becoming far more accessible, many people are now taking to social media instead of websites to get live match commentary.

It is, in general, far easier to click on your little blue bird on your iPhone instead of searching through pages of content which isn’t relevant just to get to your desired page.

But this triggers back to something more serious and something which could prove extremely costly for big broadcasting companies in the next decade or so.

The demographic of people that the broadcasting companies are aiming their content at is very broad, but in general it is a demographic which doesn’t really have much time on a Saturday afternoon to watch a 90 minute game of football.

They much prefer to see the highlights of a specific game and quickly. Match of The Day was launched by the BBC over 40 years ago and it continues to be one of the most popular Saturday night television programmes. But with the evolution of social networks like Vine, programmes like Match Of The Day face a very bleak future.

Vine has excelled over the past year after it was launched in early 2013. Enabling users to create seven second videos with as many scenes as they want, it’s a unique app which fills a gap in the market. But, with the help of online streaming, it is making it quick, easy and simple for football fans to view goals just moments after they have being scored.

For example, Joe Garner scored a wonder goal for Preston North End in the play-offs against Rotherham. Twitter was going off the scale with tweets like ‘Joe Garner, goal of the season’ and ‘Take a bow Joe Garner.’ Its tweets like this that can intrigue the least interested of football fan.

But within five minutes of that goal being scored, a quick search on Twitter and I was able to find a vine of the goal. Much quicker and easier than waiting for the highlights later, right?

So maybe, now with the help of Vine, it’s more a question of ‘when’ will social media takeover television instead of ‘if’ social media will take over television.

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