22 May 2008

Sky's limit

I was working until 8pm, then took some regular guests of the talk show to the hotel next door for a drink. Knowing all of this in advance, I'd earlier set the Sky+ to record the Champions League final.

At 9 o'clock, I got home. I ate and then put the game on via my Sky+, an hour behind everyone, not knowing a thing. Brilliant. Provided I got no giveaway text messages from a couple of Manchester United fans I know, I'd be able to see the game through to the end, not knowing the result until it appeared on my screen.

I watched the full 90 minutes, fast-forwarded the ads and the half-time punditry (it had Andy "Beags me old son" Townsend on it, who Hull City fans don't like after some stuff he said about Justin Whittle last season) in between, then watched the extra time period. I dislike Chelsea and their histrionics intensely, so I'm not sure I was wholly neutral in my viewing angle, but with no emotional involvement I found myself thoroughly enjoying the game, irrespective of outcome.

Penalties, then. In went a couple each, then Ronaldo missed, the gasps, the tension, Ashley Cole steps up...

****THIS RECORDING HAS FINISHED. PRESS BACK UP TO RETURN TO MENU****

Eh? Wha? WHAT?

I sat through 120 minutes of football and had just got on the edge of my seat when the recording ended. The match hadn't. But either ITV1, or Sky+, or both, had contrived to tell each other that their broadcast was over and therefore all scheduled recordings should cease.

I do not allow myself to use on this blog the word I shouted at my TV screen.

I missed John Terry and Nicolas Anelka's misses - remember at this stage Chelsea had the advantage with just one scheduled pen left, so as far as I was concerned, they were going to win. But I didn't bloody know this.

Anyway, I flicked on Sky Sports News, expecting details of Chelsea's victory, only to be greeted by the sight of Ryan Giggs being interviewed while sporting a grin the size of Salford Quays on his face.

So not only had I missed the penalty shoot-out, I'd missed a turnaround within it.

At least the right team won. But to see the two Chelsea misses later on the rolling channel, entirely out of context, and knowing what was going to happen, was so annoying. I'd made such a special effort.

I read here that Jim Gannon, the manager of Stockport County, has told Sky he won't talk to them, even if in victory, after his side's League Two play-off final against Rochdale on Monday - as the company won't fix his Sky+ problem.

I feel his pain. Sadly, I can't exercise any similar influence to make them grovel in the same way.

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