Thursday 11 September 2008

Silly Setanta climbdown over England on TV

Hurrah! We can all look forward to another new dawn for England's (next) golden generation after the 4-1 victory in Croatia has surely paved the way to a triumph in South Africa 2010.

And Setanta Sports seem to have finally realised how stupid they looked over their intransigence over preventing a free-to-air highlights programme.

Setanta turned down £500,000 from ITV yesterday to show the highlights last night, but have now accepted £100,000 from ITV to show them tonight.

Even more bizarrely, Setanta broadcast highlights themselves free-to-air at 10.30pm last night - having announced their plans in a 6pm press release "made so late as to seem ridiculous to all who read it" as The Guardian observed.

"We always intended to make highlights available", said company spokesman Trevor East, in what sounded like it might just have been the tiniest of fibs, unless the policy was to make sure that the secret was kept from the morning newspapers, TV listings and most other ways any supporters might find out about them. And so they were watched by a risible 224,000 people.

The broadcaster now admits that lessons have been learnt. Setanta are reviewing their policies to avoid repeating the fiasco on future .

But the weaknesses of relying on corporate responsibility and enlightened self-interest have been revealed. The government should act - by making the free-to-air broadcast of highlights of competitive international matches a second-tier listed event, as Labour MP John Grogan and England supporters have argued.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They are indeed stupid. They should have streamed it for free through their website and made money off the online ad revenue instead. My opinion: