What the ??!! NASA TV vs X Prize over webcast
NASA Watch says:
Editor’s update: According to NASA sources, X Prize Cup has refused to allow NASA to webcast any of the event’s activities. As a result of this refusal, NASA has now decided to not air any X Prize activity on NASA TV. NASA Public Affairs is working to get me more information on this evolving situation. Stay tuned.
You would think that these sort of issues would have been settled some time ago – not a day or so before the competition. This all goes back to the Space Act Agreement that was signed between NASA and the X Prize Foundation. Apparently all parties within and outside of NASA were not on the same page. As it stands, the X Prize Cup loses a substantial free distribution of video of the event – an event which could have been seen world wide – unless they can come to some agreement with NASA – or find satellite services – overnight.
The way that the X Prize Cup folks wanted things to go was simply unfair i.e. to expect NASA pay for satellite distribution – and give them visibility – yet not be able to air the exact same content (which exists because of NASA prize sponsorship in the first place) on the web where far more people (taxpayers) are likely to see it. As such, I reluctantly agree with NASA’s decision not to air the X Prize Cup events on NASA TV – unless X Prize changes their mind and allows NASA to present everything online. X Prize can’t have it both ways.
Alas, the next time NASA signs one of these agreements, someone needs to do a sanity check ahead of time – before they sign on the dotted line.