Premier League Let Sky Dump On Supporters Again

So, Mr Sky, why? Why five of Arsenal’s fixtures in April? OK, I understand the Manchester City and Tottenham games. And why the longest journey on a Monday night? Don’t answer; we know. Supporters will still get there and in any case, so long as the home fans turn up, the ground looks fairly busy to sponsors. Not much by the way of atmosphere but that’s the road football has long been venturing down.

Of course, Arsenal have nothing to do with it. Sky doesn’t care about the top four race; they just want to be the first broadcaster to collar Arsène when he announces his decision over the contract offer from the club. He’ll probably tell beIN first when we have another pointless international break at the end of the month. He is, after all, nothing but loyal and beIN are his paymaster.

That’s of no consolation to supporters planning to travel to Teeside and now either getting home at an ungodly hour or staying overnight in an ungodly town. Arsenal’s interim financials underline the extent of the problem. Matchday income is becoming less important – we still need it, of course, but the percentage of the total revenues continues to drop. As a result, the broadcasters have more power. It isn’t rocket science to know that they would prefer a percentage of the non-travelling crowd to become their customers.

It isn’t beyond the wit of the Premier League to find a solution. Well, obviously it is otherwise we wouldn’t have this mess in the first place. However, a 100-mile radius for Monday Night Football ought to apply. Broadcasters benefit from a more intense atmosphere while less supporters lose out than win. There is no solution football is prepared to countenance which is ‘win-win’.

Archaic Rules Turn The Sky Blue

Football in the UK still has a blackout on a Saturday afternoon between 3pm and 5pm. Protecting the lower divisions, is the argument put forward, which is patently untrue as it was put in place half-a-century ago or more, before live matches were broadcast. The BBC couldn’t even announce which game(s) Match Of The Day would broadcast until the 1970s. When you arrived at the ground and saw the BBC vans outside, it put a little more frisson in the air for the younger supporters.

With streams becoming more and more accessible, the blackout makes less sense, particularly since the government is determined to force the telecoms companies to invest in fibre, superfast fibre and so fast you can’t even see it fibre. Ludicrously, it includes all overseas matches with the first Clasico of the season not shown live in the UK (legally). Yet Sky quite happily shows Premier League games live overseas; ‘cake’ and ‘eat it’ spring immediately to mind.

There is a balance to be found but no willingness to do so. Football long ago twigged that supporters are a captive audience and with the continuing success of the Premier League, sees no reason to be accommodating. Any success in Europe will only increase demand, with the bubble continuing to expand contentedly. However, more money could be made if a live match were broadcast. To be honest, with Sky or BT at every game, is there any reason for anyone to know which is the live game beforehand? Almost pitch up on the day, wherever the mood takes them, and show the match.

Football Overstates The Case

I have my doubts whether grassroots football will be affected greatly – or even more than minimally. Most supporters of lower division clubs dislike the Premier League while non-league supporters are a different breed entirely. Chelsea v Middlesbrough isn’t going to impact their decision on whether to watch Old Scruttock v Little Dribble.

Making these games outside of the ‘contractual choices’ which already exist offers more scope for showing lesser matches. It doesn’t just have to be Premier League games; it can cover any division so that few genuinely know. I’m fairly confident that the archaic fears won’t come to pass, just as video refereeing won’t spoil matches.

It’s another money-spinner for football, if they want it and the Premier League has never been shy of that. It’s got to be worth a trial at least. English attendances continue to grow overall which suggests the thought processes of Chairman Hardaker and his acolytes remain as outdated today as they were when he had them.

Until then, it’s a Monday night slog to the arse-end of the country for the brave and hardy souls.

’til Tomorrow.

29 thoughts on “Premier League Let Sky Dump On Supporters Again

  1. Damn Mavididi’s loan spell has come to an end at needing surgery to repair his hamstring with Charlton boss Karl Robinson saying that it will need about 14-16 weeks of recovery. Karl Robinson has actually taken full responsibility as he knew now to play him the full 90 mins 3 straight matches given that it was his first foray into the first team futbol. Karl Robinson said:

    “It’s going to be 14-16 weeks.

    “Hopefully he’ll have an operation by the end of the week it’s come away from eh bone we think. the kid was in tears this morning on the phone to me. The overriding emotion from that was sickening. the kid’s been tremendous for us.

    “We wish Stephy the quickest recovery possible. He’s a credit to his family a credit to Arsenal FC. I’d hope to have him back next year but that’s in the hands of Arsenal.

    “We’ll do everything possible we can emotionally to support him and get him back on his feet. He’s a tremendous kid and tremendous talent, ,it’s a real sickener to all of us.

    “I’ve got to take responsibility, I apologise to Stephy, ,I let the emotion of the result get in the way of the development of the player.

    “It’s my fault he got injured. I’m sick as well, because I know working with young players that once you have an increase in loading period that then two-and-a-half games is probably the maximum amount of loading you can do when you’ve not played first-team football before.”

    “Because he has been so good we have become reliant on him and I’ve got carried away with how well he’s been doing, rather than how much I need to protect him.”

  2. It’s st David’s day today and I thought I’d celebrate it in a traditional Welsh style, so I have decided to not go to work, I’m sitting on the sofa watching day time TV with a can of kestrel and I’m going to rub some ampthetimine on my teeth.

  3. Bloody Sky. I wouldn’t be surprised if that in the same way Eve was created from Adam’s rib Rupert Murdoch was once a scab on Satan’s scrotal sack. Still looks like that too.

    To have to go to Middlesbrough at all is bad enough, but on a Monday evening? Seriously?

    I know that Arsenal in the form of David Dein were the prime movers in the PL and Sky’s investment but believe it or not football managed to survive as a professional sport for over a hundred years without them and I’d be quite happy if they got bored and moved on to the next ‘Greatest Thing Ever!!’.

  4. There is little reason I could think of for you lot to have Sky, between live streams and local pubs, the match is ALWAYS available. Here in the States they are shown on NBCSports but more often then not they show all of the matches on one of their partner stations which generally come with basic cable packages, no add-ons needed. Personally, if I wanted to not have cable, this is 2017, as long as I have WiFi I can watch any futbol match on any country whenever I want.

  5. Greetings Earthlings and Bloggers, 🙂

    Many people do stream games, and have done so for a long time, however, the main TV companies are cracking down on their use by threatening the blogs etc who allow streamering with legal action and also shutting down their sites.

    There are also pubs who obtain hooky cards for Sky and BT programmes, and they are being targeted too. The fact is that technology has become all seeing and providers can tell who is streaming on their TVs and computers. At the moment they are just warning me people, but will take it further if I people ignore them. 🙂

    They are coming for you next C as you have now publicly confessed to streaming all the football games of the whole world!! When they incarcerate you, I will send you a cake with a file in it to help you escape. Probably take you 30 years to file through the bars. 🙂

  6. Playing around with the Kodi app on the Amazon Firestick at a mates house – access to lots of overseas stations and streams for football not to mention films.

    Have had some very good experiences but sadly the stream for the Bayern game was unwatchable (I’ll leave the punchline hanging)

  7. I agree with you YW. Why not screen live games on Saturday 3pm? I don’t think it will make any difference to attendances.

    Why not screen 3 games live on a Saturday? 2pm, 4pm, 6pm.

    I also prefer the Friday games to Monday night. More atmos.

  8. HenryB,

    They will try and fail, there is no doubt about that but if they somehow find a way, I will gladly accept the cake with the plan and be back out posting on ACLF and streaming live matches before you know; though Arsene will probably still be our manager 😉

  9. C, @ 12:03

    And I believe you. Your not descended from one of the gunslingers in the Jesse James gang are you? 🙂

    Streaming in the UK (and maybe every where else too) has its drawbacks, as the quality can be crap, and the buffering can take an age.

    I understand what Yogi means about the fans being shafted when schedules are rearranged despite the inconvenience to travelling fans – ‘live’ fans in the UK are not valued as much as overseas fans which is why they do it) – but others on here might agree with me, that despite being treated poorly by the TV companies, it is bloody difficult to get tickets to away games as relatively few are issued to away fans by the other clubs.

    The TV companies in the UK, and the club know they have us hooked – so complaints by relatively few UK fans cuts no ice with them. They are only interested in you and Bill. 🙂

  10. HenryB,

    No not from the Jesse James gang, I’m more stealth and misdirection than brute force ;-).

    Streaming does have its drawbacks but I think there are so many different forums, blogs and even hardware that can give you various different degrees of quality and help with buffering that really aren’t that expensive at all. Problem is as I see it if people start going that route than already pricey wifi / internet prices will go through the roof!

    That’s the strange thing, many of the UK supporters feel that the PL while inconveniencing the ‘live’ supporters care more about the overseas supporters; well there is always chatter in the pubs that I attend that he PL gives a rats us about us given the 7:00am (EST) kick-offs which are even earlier for Bill and those pesky Monday matches, well they all generally start at 2:45 pm which makes it even more difficult because so many of the pubs don’t want to show PL matches on a Monday afternoon so its battling traffic to get home in time.

    So while they might value me and Bill as opposed to you, Yogi and Bob; they sure have a strange way of showing it 😉

  11. Yeah, that’s true, C, I was obviously giving you Fake News!! 🙂

    The time lag does not give a rat’s ass for anyone — I have sometimes stayed up all night over here to watch an NFL game, and now I am living over here for a while, I will blame you and Bill for that too!!!

    When I was younger I spent quite a while on Oahu, just out from Waikiki, and that made all the sports I like impossible to watch — and don’t tell anyone I said this, but even for the Arsenal games I did not spare a thought. Surfing, drinking, girls, working occasionally on boats near Diamond Head — and …… well, just being a teenager! 😀

  12. HenryB,

    That is so true, they don’t give a rats ass and even when I tell myself I am not waking up at 7 am or rushing home from work, there I am doing it time and again

    That is quite a wonderful life mate at any age! Can’t lie, I would find it extremely difficult to watch the Arsenal too.

  13. Dukey,

    I’m Welsh Dukey….its been 20 years since I heard of Kestrel lager ?….mind you …I’m living in Norfolk now so its all ale mate-just ask Orse

  14. Thanks for the post Yogi

    Sky sports has its good and bad. It’s help to globalize the interest in the game and made the PL the most popular and lucrative league in the world. It’s part of the reason we were able to spend more then $100M on player transfer fees in 2016. We had the largest take of any PL team in TV money. Sky sports has been good for Arsenal.

  15. Marcelo Allende, many Chileans say he is the best attacking prospect since Sanchez continues to train with the first team. He would be a good signing if made.

    The other thing is that for all of Arsenal denying Ozil is injured, reports from Germany say that he is a doubt to face Liverpool.

  16. You only seem to have listed the bad points Bill?

    Bill:
    Thanks for the post Yogi

    Sky sports has its good and bad. It’s help to globalize the interest in the game and made the PL the most popular and lucrative league in the world. It’s part of the reason we were able to spend more then $100M on player transfer fees in 2016. We had the largest take of any PL team in TV money. Sky sports has been good for Arsenal.

  17. Sky sports has been bloody awful for both Arsenal and Sky.

    I see no advantage in the ‘product’ post their money and the changes it brought.

    Whole generations of traditional supporters priced out of the game. All links between players, ordinary fans, clubs and communities severed on the altar of greed and glamour.

  18. Therein, I fear, we see a key difference between Arsenal fans brought upto the game at their grandads’ knee and on the terraces of Highbury and those caught by it’s recent ‘global exposure’. For me, it is a sport, it is heart and soul, not a lot of the mind about it. Visceral, instinctive love.

    For many now, it is just another global brand, a part of the ‘entertainment industry’.

    I have no understanding of that kind of thinking.

    Nothing personal, Bill, but your view of the sport and club that I grew up with leaves me cold.

  19. I dont have Sky, but I do have BT Sports who do not have one single Arsenal match in April !!??
    Also a thing that I am sure someone knows the answer to, but the official Arsenal website always shows what matches are on Sky, but never flags up those on BT Sports. Is there some skulduggery going on here

  20. Luis Enrique steps down as Barcelona coach… on behalf of Arsenal fans, I joyfully donate arsene wenger to manage Barcelona next season…. so that Allegri may become arsenal coach

  21. Anyone planning on going to Liverpool by train at the weekend may have to reconsider. Liverpool is completely cut off from the mainline system by a collapsed wall and land slip three miles from the city.

    The rail line is blocked by rubble and debt I and will not be open for several days.

    You’ll be pleased to know the match will be live on Sky.

  22. captain senderos,

    Hell I would take Luis Enrique to be honest. I know people will say “Its easy to succeed at Barca” but obviously its not but to add to that, he was the one that made the tactical tweaks necessary to not only transition from the Xavi era to what we see now but also managed to build a side that took advantage of Neymar, Suarez along with the likes of Raktik, and even Messi’s skill-set while dealing with Inesta fading (him fading and he is still one of the best). Yea the framework is there at Barca, but each of their managers has added their own “something”.

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