Tim Bradshaw of the FT has just tweeted to say the Manchester United press office is refuting claims in today’s blogs that players have been banned from Twitter. Tim quotes the Man U press office sa saying; “Entirely up to them.”
Paid Content has a good write up which asks “Is Manchester United the next China?” as it discusses the news the club was believed to be unilaterally banning its players from maintaining any form of social media presence on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
It may sound odd – but real time social is a huge problem for sports in the States. Matches tend to be scheduled to air on US TV, across multiple time zones, in a waterfall like chain of appearances. In other words; a match can be viewed live in New York in the morning but then air on TV on West coast some hours later.
The challenge that Twitter et al brings to this is that the fans can get an almost real-time stream of the play-by-play events without paying the extra subscription costs to a pay-for-view or waiting for the network running the match a few hours later.
The English premiership doesn’t have to battle with time zones but does have very lucrative pay-for-view franchises to protect.