10 September 2008

Are they worth watching anyway?

Much hand-wringing today in the papers and on the radio about the lack of a highlights package on terrestrial television for the England game in Croatia.

Ultimately, Setanta made an honest bid and won. I don't have Setanta, and after the way their website blew up last year while I tried to subscribe, infuriating me, I won't ever have Setanta. The pubs do have Setanta though. So go to the pub. There are plenty of them subscribing as they know they'll comfortably recoup the dough in ale takings, no problem.

That's what all the hacks whingeing about the lack of terrestrial coverage will do, including those at the Daily Mail, who went totally overboard on their disgust and disapproval of the whole affair. Well tough. It's business, that's how it works. Setanta made an offer, it was accepted. They want 20% of their original layout from a free-to-air broadcaster in return for the highlights package (about a million quid) and none of them will cough up.

So be it. It's not as if Croatia versus England will be something to enjoy, given the state of the team and the recent record against a country rapidly outstripping Germany and the Argies as our chief nemesis. And anyway, home internationals are protected by broadcasting laws; away game rights belong to the hosting FA, and if the Andorran and Croatian FAs liked Setanta's noises, there's nothing any amount of complaining can do about it.

I'll be listening to 5 Live, me. I'd advise you to either do this or find a pub with the match. Unless you've subscribed to Setanta, which presumably means you had far better luck with their amateurish website than I did.


Lee Slator said...

Sounds like a sensible decision not to subscribe if you ask me.

Have you heard about the difficulty with trying to cancel it? If not, take a look at the following web link:


This has stopped me from subscribing as I would like to be able to cancel when I feel like it with very little hassle.

5live sounds like the better option to me. We'll proably not miss much anyway!

Bright Ambassador said...

Not an expert on this, but surely all live England games should be free to air? Why should I go to the pub to watch football? By and large, if a pub boasts 'Sky Sports' on a board outside, I'll give it a wide berth. Pubs are for drinking and socialising, if I wanted to watch telly, I'd have stayed at home.
The FA, ECB, RFU etc pis me off with their greed (even though I detest cricket).

Matthew Rudd said...

The host nation has the choice in the end - the question is whether the terrestrial channels have the balls to spend the money required.