Monday, April 21, 2008

Sports Trivia

Computer-mediated communication is fundamentally changing the relationship of fans and journalists to big-league professional sports with franchises in major cities. Today's story in The New York Times, "Tension Over Sports Blogging," described how ownership disputes about sports-related intellectual property are playing out in public spats in which owners and managers sometimes seek to deepen rifts between traditional journalists and their competitors in the blogosphere. For example, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who is ironically a blogger himself, has tried both strategies of exclusion and radical inclusion as ways to retain control over online media-makers.

“We’re not trading him to the Warriors,” said Mr. Cuban. “Bloggers might make that point.”

The comment was a bit of word play, but it illustrates how Mr. Cuban, a prolific blogger himself, feels about some of the bloggers who cover his team.

Last month Mr. Cuban sought to ban bloggers from the Mavericks’ locker room, but the National Basketball Association intervened, ruling that bloggers from credentialed news organizations must be admitted.

Mr. Cuban then decided to let in any blogger — “someone on Blogspot who has been posting for a couple weeks, kids blogging for their middle school Web site or those that work for big companies.”

According to the Times, now that many teams are limiting the length of video clips posted online, despite the fact that game play takes place in public environments in which many citizens carry devises for ubiquitous computing with them, some are challenging antitrust exemptions given to organized professional sports organizations.

Meanwhile, as NPR reports, fans in Seattle are using the Internet to fight attempts by the Sonics new owner to relocate their city's NBA team to Oklahoma City. Incriminating e-mails and relationship maps suggest that the buyer of the team has not been negotiating in good faith.

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