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 !!
Labels: Conference, live football, Setanta