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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Television and Broadcasting

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The trend to ban football journalists

Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News has been writing a series of blogs about the increasing trend of banning 'off message' football journalists from clubs.    Newcastle United and Swindon Town have been two of the worst offenders, but Rangers and Celtic have also got in on the act.

What a load of rubbish

Fans have been vociferous on social media criticising the new Channel 5 football highlights show.  Some fans had initially welcomed the change as the programme goes out at 9 p,m. rather than late at night after Match of the Day as was the case when it was on BBC.

The show has a studio audience who seem to add little to the show and indeed disrupt the flow.   One of them couldn't be heard last night because they didn't have a mike on him.

Sky gets mobile rights

Sky has bought the rights to show Premier League highlights on mobile devices, as it seeks to attract viewers beyond the TV set.   It will share the rights with The Times and The Sun both owned by Sky's major shareholder Rupert Murdoch through News Corp.   The two papers have 626,000 digital subscribers, compared with millions of sports customers at Sky.

Palace dependent on tv revenue

The impressive Swiss Ramble blog has taken an in depth look at the finances of Crystal Palace and finds that they are more dependent on broadcasting revenue than any Premier League club which accounts for 82 per cent of their total revenue.   Admittedly, it accounts for 70 per cent or more of the revenue of half of the Premier League clubs.

Viewers only want to watch bigger teams

A paper published in the International Journal of Economics has claimed that as the money poured into football has grown, the demand from television viewers to watch the bigger teams has increased.   They prefer that to watching matches with uncertain outcomes.

New prime time deal for Football League

The Football League has signed a new three seasons deal for its highlights programme with Channel 5. The 90-minute programme, showing every single goal, will go out at 9 p.m. before the BBC's Match of the Day covering the Premier League.

New style television deal in Spain

Legislation has created a new form of arrangement for the sale of football television rights in Spain frm 2016.   At present clubs negotiate individual deals which has meant that a disproportionate share of revenue has gone to Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Who is a real fan?

In my view Simon Kuper writes some of the most interesting reflective essays about contemporary football. He surpassed himself with an article in last weekend's FT Magazine.   I'm not sure I agree with everything he said, but it is certainly thought provoking.

He starts with the notion that the whole idea of following a particular club is central to the personal identity of many fans.  Certainly when I think of my friends and acquaintances, I know which club they follow.  That includes the women, by the way.

What the Premiership is all about

The exit of Chelsea from the Champions League, and the poor prospects of Arsenal and Manchester City, provides another peg on which critics of the Premier League can hang one of their eloquent denunciations.  West Ham's income is poised to pass that of Inter Milan, but still Premier League teams under perform on the European stage.

David Conn and writers like him have a case to make, but sometimes I think they miss the point of the Premier League.   It is as much about creating a televised entertainment spectacle for global consumption as it is about football.

Players to wear embedded cameras

Spain's FirstVision has created a shirt to be worn by players with an embedded camera at chest level to provide broadcast standard video.   The device has been tested by players in training sessions at Barcelona and by officials in a match between Barcelona and Real Madrid.   The content was distributed by 150 broadcasters.