Comics Creators

The Sports Thread




That’s nearly double the current most expensive player transfer, his salary is not far off a million dollars a week. There’s some crazy TV money and billionaire Subbutteo going on in football at the moment. I can’t help but see a collapse down the line. As the TV bidding war keeps upping the price I see a lot of people turning to illegal streams.


With all respects and apologies to my good long-time friend @alx, I would like to publicly thank relief pitcher Robles of the New York Metropolitans for so kindly, in a game tied four-all, to give up a hit and enough walks to present the Colorado Rockies with a 5-4 win.

Happy Trails.


Football fans have been turning to illegal streams for almost a decade now and so broadcasters are making moves, similar to the music industry, to prevent it becoming commonplace. Sky Sports, for instance, have recently changed their channel structure in Britain to allow people to purchase specific sports they want to watch at a smaller price to the original multi-sport output.

The Premier League and UK broadcasters also got a court order this year that requires internet providers to ban the streams. This obviously won’t stop it, but will make the practice of streaming football a lot harder. Much easier and simpler to spend the £18/$23 a month and not have to bother trying to find a dodgy stream each match.


That’s fine but there are some issues.

Firstly ISP control is a complete waste of time. Where I live they have several ISP level bans on websites, all I did is spend one minute changing my DNS server from my ISP to a generic one Google provides free of charge and it’s gone and ineffective. (Not for the purposes of piracy I would add, they ban a few political sites).

Most importantly you can’t keep increasing the amount you pay to the leagues while simultaneously offering better value to the customer. The music industry did learn that if you had a user friendly and cheap alternative option to the pirates it stemmed the piracy but they took a big revenue hit, both at company and artist level. It’s no less easy for me to download an album illegally now than it was from Napster in 1998, in fact it is easier because my connection is so fast it takes 10 seconds instead of 3 hours. It’s just the legal versions are cheap and more user friendly.

If the next deals keep increasing as they have been, allowing the clubs to spend such huge amounts, they can’t leave it at 18 quid a month and make a profit. Long term something will have to give unless they are signing up loads of new subscribers.


Just to add away from the piracy/streaming point. I remember in 1996, when pay TV for football was already long in place, we gasped at Alan Shearer becoming the most expensive player ever at £15m, now we have a player going for £198m. Can you think of any product in 21 years that has gone from £15 to £198?


September 1971:

March 1993:




That’s 22 years. Disqualified!

1992 standard price was $1.25 so even crazy inflationary Marvel Comics can’t match the football. :smile:


21 and a half! :slight_smile:

You’re right, I cheated a bit as that’s an extra-sized issue. It was probably padded out with some extra backup story about Cardiac or something. Well worth the extra US$2.70!


Of course there are further problems to overcome. And until there is a cost-effective online site showing the matches similar to DAZN, streaming will continue in some fashion in the UK. There’s also the problem of the 3pm blackout in the UK that restricts matches kicking-off at that traditional time from being shown.

But the Premier League weren’t primarily focusing on those watching through a laptop/computer (should note not everyone is as technologically savvy as yourself to know how or why to change their DNS server), but preloaded Kodi boxes, which had rapidly increased in usage here.

And in terms of the TV rights deals, they’re highly unlikely to increase again in Britain in the same manner as the last one when the next tender goes out, unless someone like Facebook, Amazon, Youtube etc decide to get involved.


Sure but in the end that was the crux of my point. It cannot keep going the way it has. Wages are stagnant, I don’t see where you can get much more revenue so it has to take a step back. Even if those guys get involved it is a bubble .


People have said it can’t keep going that way since the 90s, just as with transfer deals. But, as you pointed out with Shearer and Neymar, it has, and for 25 years now.

The cost of TV rights in Britain will most likely not maintain the same elevation, but money can keep coming into the Premier League through international deals. For example, a half a billion pound three-year deal was agreed with Chinese digital broadcaster PPTV last year. Crack certain markets and the amount of money currently in British football could be stabilised, if not bettered, even if the income from UK TV rights is reduced.


There’s also several billion quid of losses to Subutteo billionaires in that period.

I do think you think you have a point though on the international TV rights, there is room for growth there. I live in South East Asia and they love the English league.


Nice catch. Really. :smiley:


Pirating is a really interesting topic. It’s not going away, and it feels like a new generation feel perfectly justified in pirating something they want if it’s not available in an easy format at a reasonable price. Whether it’s TV, movies, music, video games or comics - there seems to be no moral barrier to just downloading the content rather than paying for it. At the same time if there is a cheap alternative most consumers will accept it.

It’s really a time when the providers will have to conform to the demands of the market, rather than the market accepting the demands of the providers. I think we’ve seen this happen in other sectors (consumer electronics and fast food come to mind). I read that HBO had 90 illegal million downloads of the first episode of season 7. If half paid a dollar that’d be over $300 million straight cash from the pirate market. Add in TV and so on and you’d be hugely profitable (I think their production budget is $100 million). This model is clearly the future of all entertainment - the guys in charge just haven’t accepted it yet. .


I think with pirating it’s always been a trade-off between convenience and morality as well as price. I think a lot of people are fairly moral overall and will pay for something if you can get it through a legitimate channel at a reasonable price, especially if it’s simple and accessible to do so.

But when it becomes incredibly easy to pirate something then the temptation to do it can just be too great. I know I regularly used to copy albums from tape to tape back in the 90s without worrying about the morality of it, when it’s just as immoral as illegal downloading is today really. It was just so easy to do.

Having said that, if you make the legitimate sources even more accessible and convenient for people (as well as cheap enough) then I think they will pay for them. Years ago when comics pirating was rife via illegal scans, it would have been surprising to think that people would pay for digital comics in the numbers they do today. But Comixology make it so easy that it’s preferable for a lot of people to pay them for digital comics rather than hunt around for free scans.


I don’t like Robles


It is. I mean we’re delving a little off topic here but anyone here with a Netflix account knows they can get any of that content for free via torrents. It’s just so much more convenient to use Netflix (or other streaming services), they are relatively cheap.

So to get back the football point. If Sky are splitting off football to offer it for 18 quid rather than 35 that’s going to impact the next time they have to make their multi billion dollar deals with the EPL. What the TV stations have paid has increased massively with each deal. In combination with crazy billionaire club owners that has driven 3 million deals to 198 million deals. I can see no scenario where that can carry on at that rate.

Real Madrid and Barcelona’s race for ever higher spending isn’t business, it’s a political battle with enormous hand outs.


@alx gets vengeance! Jacob deGrom, struggling in the third (pitching for the Mets against the Dodgers) hit a single - then stole a base. First stolen base by a Met pitcher in nine years, it sez.


I’ve been watching the World Athletics Championships.

Bolt and Farah retiring and never in action ever again, real legends of sport.