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Midweek Memoirs of Mr Bodell

Midweek Memoirs of Mr Bodell
By the time you read this, England will have opened their World Cup 2010 Qualifying Campaign and will be two games in, but thanks to the state of national game, dictated by money, the average Joe England fan can`t watch the games.

That`s right, every away England Qualifier is on Setanta, which of course you have to pay for. Now correct me if I`m wrong, but does the taxpayer not a pay an amount to the BBC by way of a television licence fee? Yes they do I hear you answer. In which case, why are the games of the England national Football, Cricket and Rugby teams not exclusively broadcast on terrestrial television?

Well, I have a solution that will suit all parties, except satellite and digital stations:

1. Only TERRESTRIAL channels can bid for rights.
2. So, BBC [1 and 2], ITV 1, Channel 4 and Five all bid for the rights to exclusively show the England sport they want [Cricket, Football, Rugby]
3. They broadcast them for the term agreed.
4. At the end of that term, the coaches of the Rubgy, Cricket and Football sides each receive 10% [or another pre-agreed percent] of the price the channel paid to broadcast the games.
5. IF no-one wants to up their bid for the rights at the end of the term, they stay with the current channel until the end of the season, and so on, and so on until they change hands again.

This system is a incentive based for the coaches as their wage is determined by the success and wow factor of their side. If, they play will, win games and tournaments, channels will pay more for broadcasting rights and therefore their 10% will be a bigger amount of money.

If they are having as much popularity as Fabio Capello`s England, then interest and demand for the games will drop meaning their cut will be less financially.

On the domestic front, I firmly believe that the 'national game` should be delivered to the people, therefore I believe that whoever wins the bid for domestic action has first pick on the live game for the weekend, before the winner of a separate auction takes second pick for a game broadcast live on national terrestrial television.

Highlights of games, i.e MoTD and the Championship should also remain on terrestrial and again, the channels would bid for them.

This leaves you Sky and Setanta subscribers pondering what games you will able to watch. Well, the simple answer is anything else that hasn`t been ring-fenced by terrestrial channels. Including, other internationals [Scotland, Wales, Ireland, etc…], Champions League games, Non-League games, Championship games, first pick and any other remaining Premier League games. U21, U19, U17 etc internationals. Plus Carling Cup and F.A Cup action, which should stay the way it is currently which seems fair to me.

And yes, from this, you can deduce I subscribe to neither Setanta nor SkySports and I certainly feel mugged by the whole thing.

And my line-up for tonight?

Johnson Terry Ferdinand Cole
Walcott Bullard Barry J.Cole

Tom Bodell

Date:Wednesday September 10 2008
Time: 8:26AM


An interesting idea, whilst i agree with you, yes agree, i do not think our tv licence will be able to match what sky and setanta are paying for the football rights, i do have sky, but draw the line with setanta, well my wife does, so if every one did the same thing, then setanta would have to look at their costs! I think it is complete vial, that we do not even get to watch highlights of England. mind you the way they are playing, perhaps setanta are doing us a favour!
10/09/2008 08:36:00
I agree we our tv licence fee cannot match what Setanta and Sky put up money wise, but still, I would like to see people pull the plug on Setanta so to speak, as I believe I heard 1.1million watched the game. Which is the lowest England viewing figures ever. Which says the people aren't happy forking out for another channel to watch England, or they can't stomach it at the mo!
10/09/2008 15:36:00
Interesting thoughts, Mr Bodell, but the cat is well and truly out of the bag I'm afraid and it isn't about the football or the fans it's purely about money. The FA have dug themselves into such a huge hole - with Wembley, paying off numerous unwanted England managers and other non-football stuff that they have no option but to pimp themselves to the highest bidder. The moneybags in the Premiership may have the best players in the world, but very few are English and our top players / managers favour their club vs country every time because it's what makes them mega-rich. Even the supporters of Prem clubs aren't really interested in supporting Englans and jeer their countrymen who play for their rivals. Not a good situation which contrasts dramatically with other smaller countries (like Portugal where I spend half my time), where the players all want to return home to play for their country and will put aside club rivalies, as do the fans as everyone (men, women & children) gets behind them when the national team plays. I expect it's much the same in Croatia, where national pride and identity are everything, but let's not go down that road. Heh ho, Hail St George and all that!
10/09/2008 19:18:00
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