Fulham Media Actions Against Fulham Fans

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by MicahMan, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Fulham's media department seems to be committed to the idea of shrinking Fulham's fan base to a small club of immediate friends and family. They would probably defend this as developing a "more intimate experience for fans". First we had to suffer through FCTV that, unlike most Championship clubs, puts highlights behind a paywall which makes it more difficult for places like this to discuss Fulham. Then we have live match audio taken away which is particularly cruel for Fulham since Gentleman Jim so perfectly embodies the Fulham spirit - and who wouldn't want to root for the team after hearing GJ lose his voice in a match like we had against Ipswich?

    Now their quest for control has hit the Fulham1879 FanTV YouTube channel. This channel does a great job of providing a sense of the matchday experience by providing a few minutes of footage from inside the grounds followed by post-match interviews with the fans and sometimes players. For those of us who can rarely make it to Craven Cottage his videos are a nice supplement to the standard highlight clips.

    Unfortunately in the match against Ipswich on Tuesday he was forcibly prevented from recording footage within the grounds by Carmelo Mifsud, the Fulham media officer. You can see the resulting clip here that describes, but does not show, the incident:


    This disgusts me. Any cursory view of Fulham1879 FanTV would show that it does a great job of developing support for the club. Apparently Fulham only wants that to happen within the confines of FCTV. How new fans are supposed to develop an appreciation for the club when everything is behind a pay wall is unclear to me. How they think this helps encourage and support existing fans is unclear to me. What is clear to me is this is a short-sighted emphasis on getting subscription dollars.

    I'm going to reach out to Fulham and ask that they come to an arrangement with Fulham1879 FanTV so that he can continue his support for the club like before. Once I figure out how I'm doing that I'll post it here in case any of you would like to do the same. If I don't get a positive response then I'll cancel (if possible) my subscription to FCTV and not renew next season.
     
    #1
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  2. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    Bravo!
     
    #2
  3. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    It's too bad he didn't get the incident on camera.
    I've dealt with issues such as this my entire career. The difference here is they don't have the protection of the First Amendment. I don't know current British law well enough to know what rights folks DO have there in terms of free speech, free press, etc., but I'm sure there are some. They are likely not as strong as ours though, and that muddies the waters in this situation.
    As for my professional experiences in this country, there are very few exceptions to being able to record images, be they still or motion, pretty much anywhere from public property. We're not allowed into federal courthouses. We're not allowed to video record certain military installations, or parts thereof.
    We're not allowed to shoot the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, even though it's clearly visible from the public right of way along US 31W just north of Radcliff, KY. (It's secured by the Treasury Department, by the way, not the army).
    But...let's take the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament as an example. CBS/NCAA Productions, the rights holders, do not allow TV news video cameras inside the arena bowl to record games. They provide a feed for us to record, but non-CBS affiliates have very strict rules about how much footage they can air and when they can air it. After the championship game is over, we have to wait in a press pen until arena security gets clearance from CBS, supposedly when the final notes of "One Shining Moment" finish, to allow us into the inner arena and onto the court to shoot anything. All the while, print, web, radio and even our TV sports directors were shooting away with their cell phones. In Atlanta in 2013, we weren't allowed in until after the nets were cut down and assistant coaches and managers were screaming at the players to head to the locker room. I'm told it's much the same, even worse, for the Olympics which, of course, often occur outside this country. God only knows what happens behind the scenes at that clusterfuck.
    The bottom line is, the club is most likely well within their rights to do this. That doesn't make it right. And you can sure as hell go about it in a more civilized manner than it appears that they did. It's obviously about the money. Greed, pure and simple. They want to control all the content gathered inside their venue and generate more revenue. I understand that. But this supporter's efforts are just not threatening enough to really cost them much, if anything, in that regard. I really hope someone at the club above Mr. Mifsud is paying attention to this matter, and acts immediately and decisively to resolve it favorably for Fulham1879. This has the potential to do way more harm than good, and the club needs to be wise enough to recognize that and react accordingly.

    Stay tuned...
     
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  4. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    All good points @jumpkutz (my first career after college was in TV news production so I ran a situation or two similar to what you described). I recognize that the club doesn't want someone live streaming the match, but this guy has never done anything like that. He has content that isn't like what is provided by the club so there isn't anything he's offering that takes away from what they have. My preference would be for them to license him in some way. He agrees not to release more than X seconds of game footage and they agree to let him shoot video within the grounds.

    I sent a message to Fulham through the website contact form last night but haven't gotten a response.
     
    #4
  5. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    In Fulham1879 FanTV's post on the Southampton match he shows a letter he received from Carmelo Mifsud. It says that no audio or visual footage of the game can be recorded according to EFL regulations. That's not unexpected, but ridiculous. Let me pause in this rant, to violate their rules here for a moment by showing the kickoff of last year's match against Wolverhampton:
    ffc_kickoff.JPG

    Further, the rules say that no one is allowed on the grounds with a device capable of recording anything. Also not unexpected, but similarly ridiculous given that everyone's phone can record video. The regulations do allow "licensed" people to record footage within the grounds and if Fulham had any good sense they would come to an agreement to license him for crowd reaction shots and fan interviews. But if anything is clear in this episode, only ridiculous things can be expected so nothing will change.

     
    #5
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  6. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I think a direct note to Monsieur Mifsud is in order. And if that doesn't work, he's got a boss, who's got a boss, who's got a boss, and on and on, until you reach Shahid Khan. He doesn't strike me as the type to suffer such foolishness gladly.
     
    #6
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