It has emerged this morning that BT Sport have won the full right to Champions League and Europa League football for the next 3 seasons, and despite the initial good news that Andy Townsend’s dull, dinosaur like commentary will not be ruining football next season, we will not be able to watch anything on free-to-air TV. Money has well and truly spoken, with BT holding all the cards now. There was hope a few months back that it would remain on terrestrial TV, but it seems no deal was done.
What does this mean for us all?
Well, either you buy a BT Sport package (unlikely), you find somewhere good to stream from to your TV (a good option, and the cheapest) or you simply make a few extra trips to the pub. BT’s commentary team is actually nearly as bad as SkySports or ITV, but the fact we now have no free football to watch is god awful. This is a real downer for a lot of people who will now possibly not be able to afford to watch Champions League.
What’s even more pathetic is BT only have 2 channels, so unless they massively expand their showings, we will get one game each day. SkySports let you choose from a multitude of games on each given day, and ITV4 usually had 2/3 games on each night during the Europa League campaign. I can forsee that the figures for BT will be nowhere near as high as they will expect, as I seriously doubt all the Sky subscriptors won’t leave a great overall package for awful commentary and two channels
Gone are the day where you can turn on the TV and enjoy a nice game of football, even if you didn’t support either. Fans of Coronation Street will be pleased, but the millions upon millions of football fans won’t. Since I was a child, both myself and James have grown up with football on free TV – memories such as Craig Bellamy’s goal in the 3-2 win over Feyenoord as well as Newcastle’s run to the Semi Finals of the UEFA Cup particular highlights for me – and for James, Man Utd playing each and every season in the Champions League, wins in 1999 and 2008 probably his highlights.
Here’s hoping this deal massively backfires on BT Sport, and in a few seasons time either SkySports or ITV, or maybe even the BBC get some coverage back and we are free to resume watching totally free football, without having to pay a greedy money-grabbing coorporation to watch a bit of quality football!
Money has a voice, fans don’t – to the likes of UEFA and FIFA. Something that has never lived, and never will, remains on a higher pedestal than real fans. Unfortunately, that is the age we live in.