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Poll: Should the SEC ban social media from college stadiums? [UPDATED]

August 19, 2009 |  4:23 pm

Football The Southeastern Conference (you know, the home of those really good teams that win all the national championships?) has decided to ban social media from college stadiums. No iPhone photos, no cell phone videos, no Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

According to the revised policy on new media released Monday, ticketed fans are not allowed to "produce or disseminate (or aid in producing or disseminating) any material or information about the Event, including, but not limited to, any account, description, picture, video, audio, reproduction or other information concerning the Event."

The SEC believes that the dissemination of videos, pictures, tweets and other newfangled technologies will reduce the number of viewers who watch live broadcasts of the game on TV -- and they want to protect their contract with CBS and other television networks.

Meanwhile, the Big Ten Conference has taken the opposite approach, encouraging the use of social media sites and the proliferation of status updates and tweets. Coaches like Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald see Facebook as a way to communicate with fans, not a tool that could jeopardize mainstream media. 

So which approach do you think is best? Is there some merit in the SEC's approach to let broadcast handle the viewers' demands? Or is the Big Ten right to embrace new technology?

Updated August 20 4:15 p.m.: The SEC reversed its policy after this blog post was written. The SEC's revised policy now reads:

No Bearer may produce or disseminate in any formal a 'real-time' description or transmission of the Event (i) for commercial or business use, or (ii) in any manner that constitutes, or is intended to provide or is promoted or marketed as, a substitute for radio, television or video coverage of such Event. Personal messages and updates of scores or other brief descriptions of the competition throughout the Event are acceptable. If the SEC deems that a Bearer is producing a commercial or real-time description of the Event, the SEC reserves the right to pursue all available remedies against the Bearer.

Absent the written permission of the Southeastern Conference, game action videos of the Event may not be taken by Bearer. Photos of the Event may be taken by Bearer and distributed solely for personal use (and such photographs shall not be licensed, used, or sold commercially, or used for any commercial or business purpose).

-- Catherine Lyons

Credit: Sun Sentinel Staff Photo / Robert Duyos

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