Web Neutrality - or why ISP’s are not cable TV

ESPN has been trying for some time without success to force ISP’s to pay fees to carry live internet sports feeds from ESPN360. If the ISP’s don’t pay, and most don’t, ESPN blocks the feeds and substitutes a “warning message” that instructs the consumer to contact their ISP and demand ESPN360. Sound like familiar cable TV tactics?

This violates an iron rule of the web… the web is an open place and resists geographic, political, business or other artificial boundaries. ESPN’s lack of success in signing up ISP’s over more than 2 years is the least of their problems. Trying to use consumers as pawns to “close the web to paying ISP’s” is heavy handed at best and significantly corrodes their Brand image.

If you want to demand sports feeds, I doubt your next post will be to your ISP. The steady stream of flames on the web points to ESPN instead.

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