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UW Imposes 20-Tweet Limit On Live Events 196

theodp writes "GeekWire's Taylor Soper reports that the University of Washington has capped live sports coverage at 20 Tweets per basketball game (45 for football) and threatens to revoke the credentials of journalists who dare exceed the Twitter limits. Tacoma News Tribune reporter Todd Dybas was reportedly 'reprimanded' after drawing the ire of the UW Athletic Dept. for apparently Tweeting too much during UW's 85-63 Sunday win over Loyola."
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UW Imposes 20-Tweet Limit On Live Events

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  • Points (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Lode ( 1290856 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @06:16AM (#41965499)

    In basketball, usually more points get made than goals get made in football so shouldn't the tweet limit be higher for basketball?

    • A typical basketball game lasts about 2 hours, while a typical football game is generally just over 3 hours. I'm guessing that is why the different tweet limits
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @06:25AM (#41965537)

    So um... what's to prevent random attendees (or previous credential-holders who have gotten their credentials revoked) from live tweeting the whole game?

    • by gagol ( 583737 )
      In real life, if I pay to go watch a sport event, I want to watch the game, not my smartphone...
      • if but this isn't about you paying to watch a game it is about radio and tv stations paying to watch a game so you can hear/see the play by play.

        you can't always watch every game, sometimes you have to follow it other ways. twitter doesn't pay royalties for play by play announcing and so the university it trying to cut it out.

      • That's so 20th century!

    • by wile_e8 ( 958263 )

      So um... what's to prevent random attendees (or previous credential-holders who have gotten their credentials revoked) from live tweeting the whole game?

      Getting enough cell phone bandwidth when surrounded by several tens of thousands of other cell phones in the stadium.

  • So how is tweeting about semi-pro sports ... news for nerds?

    (Yes, I am aware that this is a university game, but any game where the sponsors control the media exposure in order to profit is at least semi-pro in nature to me, since being "Pro" is all about whether you get income from it)

    • by gagol ( 583737 )
      I believe the tweeting part is more or less related to nerds, enough for you to click and comment. I predict it will gather more interest than the emscripten story posted earlier!
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @06:31AM (#41965567) Journal
    Seriously, This harms ALL sports caster to have the university dictate how things will happen.
    if ALL of the news sources would simply skip a couple of games, then the sports director would quickly change their mind.
    • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @06:43AM (#41965619) Journal

      I think the issue here is that a print reporter essentially becomes a broadcast journalist when tweeting the game play by play. The make royalty from the authorized broadcasts of the game and want people watching/listening to those instead of following tweets in near real time to which they get no income from.

      The news sources won't skip the games because the readers/viewers/customers will look for the information if they do not carry it. Its essentially sending customers to the competition where they might like something and stay.

      • Do you really think 140-chars snippets are an adequate replacement for a real tv or radio coverage?

        • Presumablly that depends on just how many of those 140-char snippets are sent....

          • No way.

            I could follow a few matches of the last World Championship only via a text-only stream. And even without any limit, it does not capture the suspense and mood of following a match on tv or radio.

        • I don't think it matters if it lessens the ability to generate revenue from the authorized broadcasts.

          When I listen to a game on the radio, its all background noise until the commentator sounds excited, then I pay attention because something interesting just happened and they will repeat it. So for me, yes it could replace it. But if it makes the revenue from the radio or tv covering it worth less, its still a problem.

        • Or, more to the point, if your sport's coverage can be substantially harmed by twenty one 140-character snippets, perhaps your sport just isn't exciting enough to merit live TV/radio coverage.

        • For some people, yes.

          If I'm at one event, I like to follow along with another event to see how it's going. Hilights & scores work for me then.
          In a close game, that might lead to lots of tweets.

  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @06:38AM (#41965595) Homepage

    This story has a 20 post limit, please stop posting or your account may be revoked.

  • by smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) * on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @07:42AM (#41965843) Homepage Journal
    People have got to be trained that the only sustainable liberty is managed liberty.
    Bandwidth is a precious resource, and we cannot allow our Precious Bodily Phrases to be diminished by more than 20 Tweets per event. People could get excited, and drive up medical expenses.
    Of course, managing communications will require a comprehensive regulatory regime. That means jobs. Now, don't get all wrapped around the fact that a day spent poring over Twitter logs and tallying Tweets has no real product. It's a job, and that means a reliable vote from the sucker in the chair.
    The act of fining people for Exuberant Tweeting, of course, is a revenue stream of the government. That means more tax agents, bean counters, and a few more lines on the tax code. Don't worry; the tax code isn't predicted to topple until its height exceeds 10,000 meters.
  • The geek equivalent of 'that woman' who utterly hates cell phones everywhere at any time.

  • This is just idiotic on the part of someone at the university. Perhaps the reporters should respond by limiting their articles to something roughly equivalent to 20 tweets. Most tweets are extremely short. Maybe a total of 800 characters would be sufficient. Let's see how the administration truly likes reduced coverage of their product.

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @08:28AM (#41966027) Homepage
    And tweet whatever the frak you want. The concept of "journalists" as distinct from "everyone" is just ludicrous now.
  • by igaborf ( 69869 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @08:38AM (#41966077)

    Reporters are allowed access to the event with the understanding that their reports will be published after the fact, thus protecting the value of the real-time reporting being done by the broadcast partners. All this rule is doing is telling the other reporters that they can't publish their content in real time.

    These new rules are in response to newer technology, but other restrictions have been in place for years to protect licensees.

    For example, as a spectator you aren't allowed to video record an event. Often you are not allowed to bring a "professional" grade still camera, either. (Of course, improvements in camera technology are making it easier to surreptitiously get around these restrictions.) The purpose of those restrictions is to force anyone wanting to see video or photos of the event to go to the licensee -- and pay for the privilege either directly or through advertising.

    So, yes, it's about the money.

    • by quetwo ( 1203948 )

      Exactly this. I know our athletics department has been worried about people tuning out of the traditional media (Radio/TV) and trying to catch the game via twitter updates. This, in their mind, reduces the media partner's viability because of lost ad listens, and essentially brings a third "live media" into the mix -- one that may not have been authorized to do live media.

  • The same tech that jams cellular data, also jams tweets, and the same faraday cage shielding that blocks radio transmission also blocks tweets.
    Shielding is passive, and can easily be done as they build a covered arena. An open arena can be shielded by the height of the faraday walls, since cellular is line of sight. Jamming is probably illegal, but cheaper, but may be legal in your own closed space (the Arena)

    How will people like no cell coverage inside arenas? No tweets? Will people actually welcome the e

  • 2800 characters should be enough for everyone.

  • I think we're all missing the elephant in the room. What the fuck has college got to do with sports? As far as I'm concerned, the sports scholarhips should be abandoned, and large-audience college sports banned. College is there to teach people things, not to entertain the masses. Professional sports are professional entertainment. It's no business of any college to offer that. I'm well aware of the U.S. reality where college sports attract donors and shit, but perhaps people should get a long hard look in

    • Why on Earth would I offer a scholarship for someone who, ostensibly, diverts their time to things *other* than pursuit of knowledge (namely: sports)?! Scholarships should be for kids who, I dunno, are good at learning things, doing resarch, that sort of thing?

      You act as if there's nothing to be learned from playing sports. There's plenty, both strategy and teamwork spring to mind immediately. Also, sports give the opportunity to many socio-economically disadvantaged people to obtain a college education that they might not have otherwise had access to. Most colleges that have sports programs also have programs specifically aimed at those athletes to help them succeed academically. Does every college athlete graduate? No, but I think there are a great deal more th

      • by PPH ( 736903 )

        You act as if there's nothing to be learned from playing sports. There's plenty, both strategy and teamwork spring to mind immediately.

        You are addressing an audience largely involved in intellectual pursuits. Teamwork and loyalty to the organization are less important than the physics or logic supporting our decisions. If that is wrong, then the team is wrong. Not a concept I see much from ex-jock co-workers and management.

        The whole concept of needing competition to achieve some goal runs counter to the drive to continually improve a product or process absent that competition.

        Also, sports give the opportunity to many socio-economically disadvantaged people to obtain a college education that they might not have otherwise had access to.

        It would be better to put the money into some scholarships for

        • While I agree with you that the degree of college sports has grown far beyond its usefulness, it was based on solid ideas. Take people who are good at sports, get them into college, make them maintain a decent GPA and show them off to the world. All the other underprivelleged children can then look at what that person has acheived an be motivated to try themselves. Lifting up the lower parts of our society is an important part of the role sports play.

          • by tibit ( 1762298 )

            Why the heck would I care, as an employer other than a sports team, or a college admissions counselor, that someone was good at sports? I care that they are good at science or art or engineering or medicine or business or whatever their education will be in, or their job will be in. Yeah, the kiddo is a good team player. So what. He's a good team player who wouldn't know a Newton's law from Declaration of Independence. Collegiate sports are based on a false premise, pure and simple. Yeah, there are notable

          • by PPH ( 736903 )

            Actually, it was the other way around. People who went to school to pursue academic interests but also had aptitude for playing sports did so. They'd play, but with the idea that they'd be getting out of school and going into a profession related to their education. But then college (and sadly high school) has become a farm team for the NFL and NBA.

      • by tibit ( 1762298 )

        Whatever you learn playing sports can be learned doing whatever it is that you're supposed to be doing in the first place. So that argument doesn't fly with me. It's a diversion of precious time, pure and simple, never mind a cost on the various college medical insurance programs. Football isn't really a low-risk, low-injury thing.

        As for socioeconomically disadvantaged people: hey, someone organizes their sports activities. It's rare that they'd be coming straight from their neighborhood court ready to rake

  • Take several devices under different accounts. When you reach your limit on all devices, text to the office and they then tweet your text.
  • Try to exhale more often than allowed and we'll charge you extra!

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake