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