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WRITER, CONSULTANT AND BROADCASTER SPECIALISING IN BEER, PUBS AND CIDER. BEER WRITER OF THE YEAR 2009 AND 2012

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Monday, 5 October 2009

Losing the plot

So the England Ukraine World Cup qualifier this weekend is only going to be shown over the internet. And if you only decide to watch it on Saturday, it's going to cost you £12.99 for the privilege.

Given that England have already qualified, no broadcaster wanted to pay the asking price for the rights to show it.

This must be one of the most ugly, stupid, venal, blinkered, cruel, callous, cynical, nasty, plain fucking daft decisions ever taken in sports coverage.

Apart from the obvious social exclusion here - if you're not affluent enough to have a decent computer and broadband internet connection, tough shit - this move will cost pubs millions in lost revenue. Not everyone likes watching a big match in the pub, but many of us do. When places are rammed with fans, you get a special atmosphere that simply can't be replicated in the home. You get a sense of community and companionship that's all too rare these days. I'm not sure if pubs would even be permitted to try to show the game through a laptop. But it would probably be pretty rubbish even if they did. Anyone who wants to watch the game will have to do so sitting at their pc.

Given that England have already qualified, can I suggest that every England fan who cares goes to the pub when the match is on anyway, and spend your money on beer instead of with these greedy bastards?

7 comments:

Fatman said...

Use a projector. And route the audio feed through the pub amp.

They can read Pete Brown's Beer Blog at half time too.

BLTP said...

I bet blown up to pub size the computer feed is fairly degraded and it would be a brave landlord who relied on an Ukranian broadband provider with a pub full of vocal footy fans! ;)

Sid Boggle said...

I remember a similar scenario in 2000, I think it was. Fans scampering from pub to pub in SW1 trying to find a place with an ONdigital box so they could see England underperform in a hail of static. Hopeless.

A bit different this time, but I hope this 'event' fails as mightily as that evening's game did...

Darren T said...

Ridiculous. If ever there was an argument for all England games being given to the BBC to be shown on terrestrial TV (or the digi-freeview equivalent) then this has to be it.

And I will be in the pub on Saturday. Or at the Manchester Real Ale Festival (if I can't manage to persuade the missus to head down there with me on the Friday evening...)

"Eddie Rowles" said...

I hate pubs when there's football on, especially England internationals, as they really seem to bring out the inner twat of many fans.

Anyway, some of us will be at Dagenham hoping for the first three points of the season under our new manager - I dare say I'll need a beer afterwards...

SheyMouse said...

It really is a load of pants that the match will not be accessible to the public. You aren't going to go round to a mate's house to watch the game on his 15" laptop screen. Nor do most pubs have the technology to stream the feed.
I think the English FA really have to think hard about how they want to progress with football accessibility in this country. It is already inaccessible to many being on Sky. Not being on any TV at all (and so in no public places) will alienate the people they are struggling to appeal to!

Jonathan said...

No offence but you cannot enforce TV coverage of a game abroad. It's the height of English arrogance to try to force your preferences on the Ukrainians on who they can sell to or not.

It's surely not technologically beyond a pub to show this game and they could get it for a fiver.

Of course one wonders if the UK broadband network is really up to this. So we'll see.

Hopefully the Ukraine FA do something other than have a suits' benefit with the money. OK I have doubts.

I get it free by having a funded account with a bookie (not named as I do not want to be confused with a spammer but maybe someone who is not bothered).

BLTP: The pictures do not have to enter the net from Ukraine - that would be a mistake.