I'm really astonished at the lack of thought that went into this idea. CitizenCon has always been about showing off the game to backers and the general public, of celebrating together. Hiring a professional video crew charging over $100,000 and then forcing those most loyal to the game to pay for it is completely out of touch, even if it was going to be uploaded later to YouTube for free.
The issue for me wasn't what it would cost for me personally, as I'm already a subscriber and am a concierge level backer (those backing over $1,000) so wouldn't have had to pay. What I resent is that those who can't afford the digital streaming pass or those who choose not to buy it were being treated like second-class citizens. Chris Roberts even talked about how he doesn't like paywalls in games yet that apparently doesn't extend to community events that have historically been free.
The backlash was immense and justified but I still have a lot of friends who have defended the original decision to charge for a pass and even hoped it would continue going forward. They saw the fuss as backers being entitled and demanding things for free.
CIG may have backed down on this one but it's still damaged the reputation of the game at a time when content was starting to take priority and they're pushing out regular quarterly releases, with a public roadmap of future updates. It was a poorly thought through cash grab to compete with Blizzard, a publisher that has put out countless games and actively supports them beyond release. And now CIG has an excuse as if there are any streaming issues they'll just blame them on the cutbacks.
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."