Nobody reallly understood what “Sports Rights” were in 1992

Distrita SportsDigging thru the net, I was able to find a YouTube clip made by Paul Gilgannon. He has made a quite interesting comment about how Sports Rights were treated back in 1992. Especially here in Europe. He writes about that he worked as a Engineer at Screensport. A very popular sports channel in 1992, that showed a very short program called Olympic Report.

He writes:

Screensport was one of 16 channels available on analogue satellite. We screened the Olympics by stealing the BBC’s feeds from european satellites and rebroadcasting them – all for free! On Day 11, the International Olympic Committee’s lawyers asked us if we would kindly stop doing that. In those days, nobody really understood the phrase “Sports Rights”. After that, it was back to US basketball, and the channel closed in early 1993, having at least been a decent competitor to Sky. Come to think of it, I don’t think I have had many more credits since then!

Clip from Olympics Barcelona 1992, where Paul got his very first TV credit shown
Then versus Now
Today all of the biggest TV channels in their own country keeps everything to themself. There is no room at all to re-broadcast someone else broadcast without having a written agreement on it. There is no room to just do something anywhere. Back in 1992, nobody knew what Sports Rights were. But because of Screensport’s BBC Olympic Games rebroadcasting, the International Olympic Committee’s lawyers asked Screensport kindly if they would kindly stop rebroadcasting. Today it would mean xtravaganza fines. Even the Internet back then was just to put stuff on the net, but not anymore. Once the media houses came along on the net. Now we as everyone need to put source and tell our readers where we get them from if thats something we actually do.

Things seemed a bit easier before! But then Internet and Sharing was just in the beginning. However! Things is a bit too crazy it seems now. It feels like the biggest companies is those that control and tell us what is right or wrong to do.


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