The online music video service Vevo has responded to reports that it aired an illegally streamed football game at Sundance. While the company admits that the illegal streaming and broadcast did happen, they're denying responsibility.
At the Sundance Film Festival last month, the major-label owned streaming video service hosted celebrities like LMFAO, Tommy Lee, and others at its Powerstation & Sorel Suite. Unfortunately, all that good PR went bad when a video surfaced, which showed that the hopping hotspot played more than legally-licensed Vevo music videos on the big screen. They were broadcasting the NFL playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens from the illegal TV streaming website TuTele.tv. In the words of Vevo CEO Rio D. Caraeff:
A guest of our lounge asked for an NFL game to be aired. We said no. There was a laptop hooked up to VEVO.com that fed into the large TV screens around the bar. Unfortunately, the laptop was easily accessible to the public. That was our mistake for not making sure the laptop was more secure. While VEVO staff was in other areas of the venue, the game was put on – via a website transmitting ESPN's broadcast of the NFL game – without our permission or knowledge.
Caraeff says that as soon as Vevo employees realized what was happening, they took the offending stream off the screen and switched legal content back on. While it's funny to watch the CEO of a company owned by major record labels flail and back peddle in the face of a little bad PR, the explanation does sound at least plausible. It certainly wouldn't be the first time we saw an entity associated with the major labels stealing media on the internet. Maybe the recording industry should change its tune when it comes to those crazy lawsuits it launches against ordinary people, especially considering its own people keep "accidentally" stealing content from others. [Vevo]