Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Football TV Deal Terrible News For Cricket Fans

Football execs are doubtless celebrating their latest TV deal, but it's bad, bad news for cricket fans.

Word is that Sky have agreed to pay almost TWICE what they were paying before, for LESS football; and the consequences are inevitable: subscriber numbers will fall, and those left will have to pony-up ever-more to watch Sky Sports.

And with no option to "just" watch cricket*, us cricket fans are on the hook for this just as much as football fans, with the added "bonus" that our sport gets none of the proceeds of our subscription hikes - it all goes to line the pockets of the Prima Donnas in the Premier League!

But still... at least we get to watch all the games. Now... when does the England / New Zealand series start again - I'm looking in my Sky planner, and I can't seem to see it anywhere???

* I know there are options to "just" watch SS2, but this isn't quite the same thing - that sub will go up just as much percentage-wise as the other!


  1. A modern day emperor's new clothes.
    The football clubs have a vested interest in deluding people into thinking the Premier League is vital, critical, must see. The media (especially Radio 5 Live) are also part of this delusion, whipping up hysteria about football because they want people to watch and listen and improve their ratings.
    The supporter, poor thing, is fleeced for vast amounts of money and treated very badly indeed.
    One day (no time soon) everyone might wake up to the delusion that they are watching ludicrously over paid players (its a sick society where a football player gets paid many times more than a surgeon that can save your life for example), strutting around a patch of grass, only wearing the shirt because they are paid to, with no emotional tie to the city their club is supposed to represent.
    A modern day emperor's new clothes.

  2. I know it's not allowed among cricket fans, but I'm able to watch cricket and football (both men's and women's) as well as athletics/tennis/motorsports/swimming/cycling/snooker/darts/any number of olympic and parasports events without resorting to specious comparisons and analogies.

    Which form of surgery btw?
    The best paid surgeons perform cosmetic surgery in private clinics. Is it right that they earn more encouraging people to take the risk of unnecessary surgery than those performing truly vital work?
    Surgeons in a western country earn more than their counterparts working in far more taxing conditions in the developing world.
    Those surgeons in turn still earn far more than a midwife in rural Central African Republic for example.

    Is that right? Seems pretty sick to me. Yet we live in that world.

    We also live in a world where supposed financial experts were paid fortunes to oversee an economic catastrophe that ruined the lives of millions, and were then paid millions more in public money to "fix" the problem while the most vulnerable groups in society took the hit.

    That's the sick world we live in.

    Footballers unlike those economic titans at least have a discernible, measurable talent they've worked years on to perfect. No really.

    Their part of the entertainment world is also one of the few that isn't disproportionately dominated by performers from a privileged background.
    We're constantly told how disgusting it is the likes of Didier Drogba, Lionel Messi or Wayne Rooney are paid millions for kicking a ball, yet no-one suggests Benedict Cumberbatch or Eddie Redmayne shouldn't take home millions for essentially reading aloud for a few weeks.
    Considering how easy football apparently is you'd think it would be awash with old Etonians making a killing.

    Is there an ugly side to football? Of course. There's also great beauty and skill. It's the most popular sport in the world and the one that most accurately represents the world we live in, for good and bad.

    If surgery, midwifery or nursing/care work/social work/teaching (or women's cricket) were among the most popular entertainments in the world, they too would generate the astronomical sums and pay salaries that football does.

    It would be great if most of the money made by football went to the grass roots or improving living standard across the globe. Sadly it doesn't (even with Blatter and co in charge football actually does a far better job of this than cricket...)
    Put it this way. I'd rather the "prima donnas" on the pitch got the money than the oligarchs and sheikhs in the boardroom.

    I find it bizarre people are so quick to apply sweeping judgements of moral character to an entire group merely because of which sport they happen to be involved with.

    I can think of at least a couple of women's cricketers who would never be out of the tabloids if they were given multi-million pound contracts and the level of media scrutiny applied to top footballers.

    A sports fan citing one sport over another as being a case of the emperor's new clothes seems the definition of ludicrous.
    Analyse any sport and it'll only amount to an arbitrary set of skills used to perform an ultimately meaningless task to a better standard than a notional opponent.

    A bakers dozen of people mill about in a field for between 3-8 hours a day. Occasionally one of them will hurl a ball at the floor causing a short burst of running, shouting and gesticulating. Two middle aged men perform a strange form of full-body sign language/contemporary dance and everyone goes back to milling about.
    People pay to watch and even waste whole days watching it on telly.
    *Emperor's new clothes claxon*

    Tennis appears to be a couple of people using snowshoes to hit a furry lump of rubber back and forth across a car park.

    And rugby?

    Apologies for the rant I just find the bitter adversarial side of warring sports fandoms utterly fatuous and pathetic.

  3. It's also worth remembering football was televised because it was already a popular activity attended by thousands, not because broadcasters felt they had a duty to grow the game.

    By happy accident the game was the most popular sport at various pivotal points in broadcast history and benefited financially from that.
    By coincidence the length of a football match is well suited to modern viewing habits, further cementing its dominant position.

    The premier league football rights have been sold for billions. Is that good for cricket? Doubtful.
    Is that the fault of footballers or football fans and does it point to some moral failing or other on their part? No.
    Is there potential for cricket to be administrated far more competently than it is, with long term goals in mind that will help the game reach a wider audience and grow financially? Definitely.


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