Friday, March 25, 2011

Football On TV: Kicking Off For Money

We have a Scotsman to blame.

John Logie Baird.

The vicious bugger only went and invented television (more or less, at least on a practical level). How did a punter from Helensburgh pull that off?

And he did he not realise that he was kicking off the process that would see football ruined?

If he was clever enough to devise a TV system that would be used to televise the moon landings, why could he not see that one day his gift to humanity would mean St Johnstone kicking off against Rangers and Celtic at 6pm on successive Tuesday evenings?

Cheers for that, Jock.

A couple of more realistic reasons for this scheduling quirk. The weather, the split and a backlog that must be cleared.

And UEFA's rather draconian rule that broadcasting live games in direct competition with Champions League games is punishable by death. Or, worse for some people, a financial penalty that would be levied on all SPL clubs.

The SPL say there is nowt they can do.

Strange that UEFA are so insecure about the Champions League - a footballing behomoth that stampedes everything in its path - that a live game from McDiarmid Park would worry them. But a precedent can't be set.

6pm on a Tuesday it is.

Interestingly this news emerged about the same time as the SFA confirmed they'd signed up to UEFA's plan to sell the rights of international qualifiers centrally from 2014.

It's reported that the SFA will earn more from the deal than they do from their current agreement with IMG. Additionally, Scottish Cup rights and international friendlies will be sold separately, guaranteeing the SFA more readies for themselves.

At least the SPL's experience is proof that UEFA can drive a hard bargain and get what they want.

It will be interesting to see how it pans out, if the SFA really have made a money spinning decision.

We can confidently predict that somebody, somewhere will be getting rich from the deal.

That usually means somebody else will be getting shafted. And that usually means the fans.

I look forward to Scotland's Euro 2016 qualifier against Azerbaijan. Live from Hampden Park, Glasgow.

Kick off 3.37am.