This blog is a political blog from a left-of-centre perspective. This is not specifically a party political blog, but does have a Lib Dem orientation. Constructive enagement with radical liberals, social democrats / democratic socialists and greens is particularly welcomed.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Setanta Blues ? TV is killing live football !

The way football is going I think we are going to see live coverage of South Devon League football soon. What next ? Maybe it'll be Upton Athletic versus Brixham Villa indoors as the clubs have no lights - all exlusively on numpty satellite channel 'Devon Sport ' ?!

My point is that TV is killing 'live' football - as 'in the flesh and at the stadium'. Already Torquay United and Exeter City  combined will be on  the box for seven live matches on the Setanta channel before Christmas, with the Gulls opener not on Saturday 11 August 3pm, but on Sunday night 7.30pm !  Sunday night for goodness sake. Obviously there's going to be a lot of visiting supporters with that kick-off time - not ! And, all this for Conference football. I'm certainly not going to call it the Blue Square Premier League., as this makes it sound even worse than it is.

Do the maths.  Four Torquay games, luckily three being away,  before the end of October. £10 subscription  for month one, which includes SPL / Dutch / Portuguese / Italian / French league football, in addition to a weekly Premiership game live versus £14-15 to go to Plainmoor for one hideously timed home game. Guess which I'm going to do ? I feel guilty, but £15 for Conference football is too much !

Worse still the Chief Executive of the 'Conference' seems reluctant to say how much the clubs will get for the live screenings. Hmm... makes me think that the deal is not that lucrative. Sadly Torquay's following for the three away games at Burton, Oxford and York will be minimal. But compare the Setanta subscription fee with the time and money needed to travel to these fixtures. Crucially, will the lack of support, especially at what appears to be difficult away contests, hamper the progress of the Gulls this season ?

For me with Celtic and Torquay being my 'other teams'  Setanta is  [somewhat selfishly] good for me, but not for the clubs and the wider game. Ironically, my first sporting love - Nottingham Forest - are only on live TV once for the 'attractive' fixture at Carlisle. League 1 and 2 of the Football League are virtually ignored unless there's no Premiership / Championship  football due to international fixtures and Sky then need a 'filler' for their Sports channels. How very strange.

It will be interesting to see Setanta's viewing figures for Conference games. Forest Green Rovers v. Salisbury City on 13 September is definitely one for your diaries !!

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Anonymous jonjon said...

Should there be a Salary Cap in Football?
Personally I think there should be! It’s just getting to be stupid money in football at the top of the premiership!
It’s always the same teams at the top proving that football success is based purely on money which ruins the idea of it being a sport! They’ve done it in rugby, basketball, hockey and American football and it makes the sports more competitive and better to watch!
I do a little Spread Betting (or more precisely Football Spread Betting) from time to time and most matches don’t hold much surprise who is going to win, its boring! I want to see a team at the bottom pulling off an amazing season beating last seasons winners in a close fought battle!
Make things fair! It shouldn’t be about money!

10:50 am GMT


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