Twitter suspended the account of a popular sports site after the Premier League complained that it was posting unsanctioned video clips from matches.
The micro-blogging site temporarily kicked Bleacher Report from its UK network after football chiefs said it was sharing Vine posts – six-second videos – it did not own the rights to publish, according to the Times.
Fans were alerted to the situation last week when the site’s Twitter profile was updated with a message which read: “Sorry, that user is suspended”. The notification was online for around 24 hours before Bleacher Report was allowed back on to Twitter following discussions between the companies’ lawyers, the Times added.
The sporting site, which has around 83,000 followers on the social network, has been caught up in the Premier League’s wider crackdown on unofficial videos. Fans were warned at the start of the current season not to share unofficial videos of goals online after football chiefs saw a spike in the number of unlicensed posts during the World Cup.
The clampdown aims to protect the value of the league’s sponsorship rights, particularly its deal with News UK to push official videos to fans through the Sun and the Times.
Premier League bosses along with other sporting organisations are racing to overhaul the way they package sponsorship rights in response to how fans sharing content has become a key part of events. The traditional model, whereby rights holders create value by controlling access to their assets is at threat from the rise of digital, forcing them to adopt a more proactive approach when it comes to content.
Premier League clubs are leading the way in this shift with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City offering fans behind-the-scenes access to their clubs through official YouTube and Vine videos.