A court hearing about the future of football broadcast rights in Australia will begin today, that pits a smart phone application, which allows users to record football matches from free-to-air stations and watch it within a minute of the game starting.
According to critics, the "game changer" app Optus could scupper broadcast deals that put hundreds of millions of dollars into sport.
Telstra, the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL) will face off against Optus today in a test case in the Federal Court in Sydney, as they try to ban TV Now, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The launch of the app has outraged the sporting codes, because Optus's product allows its customers to watch matches and grand finals that are screened on free-to-air television after a short delay. This potentially erodes the value of an exclusive, multimillion-dollar Internet distribution deal the two codes have signed with Telstra.
According to the Herald Sun, the court will be told that if the service is allowed to continue it will be the "tip of the iceberg", because similar services will proliferate.
It is believed the International Olympic Committee has already been contacted over what the football codes see as a growing scourge of "cloud computing" services that effectively hi-jack their sports and show them free. (ANI)