::: FistedAway today welcomes a guest post from Elliott, editor of the rather lovely Futfanatico :::
MLS commissioner Don Garber went from talking with European bigwigs to a dose of cold reality with this MLS Cup weekend, in which the eleven men of Real Salt Lake beat an undermanned David Beckham. Yes, ESPN stopped short of legal action, but did issue a heated written reprimand on most major outlets against “the Don.” What’s the problem, you ask? Why is the Seattle rain falling down on the MLS parade? Television broadcast rights.
Sources indicate that since 2007, an anonymous bandit on Justin.tv. has been illegally broadcasting streams of MLS games. ESPN, owner of the tv rights and incensed at such piracy, demanded that Justin.tv ban the illegal broadcasters. They have threatened swift legal action should any scofflaw broadcast the MLS Cup final. Yet a closer look revealed a pattern in the user names: DGarber27, DonGarb, DonDonG, and D2ThaMuhfuknG to name a few.
Eventually, after the user’s IP address was traced to MLS headquarters, coincidentally Don Garber’s suburban home in upstate New York, “the Don” came clean. He was quoted as saying that “he just wanted MLS to get to a broader audience,” an odd claim given that the highest peak viewership reached barely 200 users. The most popular match, strangely enough, was marketed under the erroneous title “Doogie Howser MD Reunion Special”. Neil Patrick Harris was happy to do an interview in exchange for a warm, free lunch, but knew nothing of the broadcast.
Despite such suspicious circumstances, the Don apologized to ESPN and promised to never again broadcast over Justin.tv. He also double pinky-sweared to not broadcast the MLS Cup final on Justin.tv this Sunday. However, when pointedly questioned about suspicious user names on other broadcasting platforms, such as “DonzoMcGonzo” at Ustream, and “IreallyamDonGarberJEEZ” at Veetle, “the Don” declined to comment. His grin said it all.
::: Elliott is the editor of Futfanatico :::