A great analogy would be to the roads system. Roads aren't free. They cost money.
Putting on and broadcasting NCAA athletics events isn't free. It costs somebody money.
We pay for roads largely through our tax dollars, with the occasional user fee. We've decided, through mechanisms that are sometimes oblique and sometimes flawed but about which there is generally broad consensus, that there is a utility there which is worth that cost.
We pay for NCAA athletics events and broadcasts largely through our tax dollars, with the occasional user fee. We've decided, through mechanisms that are sometimes oblique and sometimes flawed but about which there is generally broad consensus, that the utility which is worth the cost.
We are accustomed to being able to access the roads without paying immediately for that access.
We are (were) accustomed to being able to watch cross meets on a live stream without paying immediately for that access.
If someone sold exclusive access to charging tolls for a certain section of road, and that road happened to be on particular interested to us (say, we lived near it and it saved us twenty minutes on our morning commute), and that individual starting charging three or four times as much as most toll roads, and did an awful job of maintaining the road... well, you'd have pretty much the situation we have with Flotrack.
Just as the government theoretically has an interest in providing its citizenry with effective ways to get around, the NCAA theoretically has an interest in maximizing the educational benefit of its interscholastic sports by expanding their reach, permitting more friends and family to enjoy the experience, etc.
And just like our recourse for privatized and excessive tolls would be to petition the government to revoke the tolling company's exclusive tolling rights, our recourse for Flotrack should be to petition the NCAA give the rights to somebody else -- ideally, to multiple parties, so that there would be some competitive pressure on coverage price and quality.