updated 11:25 pm EST, Thu February 9, 2012
Joint venture accused of hypocrisy
Vevo, a joint venture owned by several major music labels, has been accused of streaming a pirated NFL game at an event the company hosted during the Sundance Film Festival. Attendees were reportedly able to watch a football playoff game featuring the Patriots versus the Ravens, however the video feed was being illegally streamed from the Spanish site TuTele.tv via sports stream aggregator Frontrow.tv.
A TechCrunch reporter who attended the event noticed that the stream appeared to be a pirated version, originating from the UK-based TV station ESPN America. Follow-up communication with ESPN is said to have confirmed that neither TuTele nor Frontrow had established licensing rights to legally stream the game.
The accusation is viewed as evidence of hypocrisy from Vevo, which licenses EMI content and is directly controlled by Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Abu Dhabi Media. The major labels are also the biggest players behind the RIAA, which has fought for tough laws to prevent the same types of piracy that were allegedly witnessed at the Vevo event.
Vevo attempted to dismiss the accusations, arguing that the event was organized by creative agency Continuum Entertainment and involved the participation of several other companies. ESPN has yet to respond to TechCrunch inquiries regarding potential legal action against the companies.