2 August is BT Sport’s last chance to redeem themselves as Arsenal’s media partner.

Saturday 2 August is just about the last chance for BT Sport to redeem itself as Arsenal’s media partner.

This time last year they gave a performance at the Emirates that was so awful in terms of criticising the very competition they were supposedly covering that it beggared belief that they had actually pitched for the rights to show it.

Now they are showing it again, this time following what for a media partner of Arsenal has been a disastrous campaign focussing on the heavy defeats of Arsenal last season.

It has been manna from heaven for the AAA who have been handed on a plate their new campaign, as a replacement for their endless moaning about the number of years since a trophy was won, and “coming fourth isn’t a trophy” etc etc etc.   Now they have a new one – “It was Wenger who was responsible for the humiliation of those defeats”.

To the AAA BT Sprout is quite right to show these games as its build up to the Emirates games, because they happened.  The point we’ve made here is that this is not how we expect a media partner of Arsenal to behave, any more than the endless whining about Mr Wenger from S Robson was how we expected a commentator on Arsenal TV and Arsenal.com to behave.

So BT Sprout have been endlessly warned, and according to Arsenal, they have issued an apology, although I don’t know anyone who has found it.

But if they have apologised then we can certainly expect a much better performance for the opener of the season this weekend.  From our media partner we expect a positive, insightful and respectful coverage.  Here’s what they need to do:

1: Have a proper detailed knowledge of the players they will watch, not just some half hearted knowledge garnered from the Star and the Sun.  This includes knowing about the reserves and why Ryo isn’t playing, and where Gnabry is, as much as the stars from the World Cup.

2: They need to stop spouting (or is that Sprouting) old re-hashes of old stories.  So the fact that Diaby has had injuries beyond compare is not news, although if they want to go back and look at how this wrecking of a player’s life was started, that would be interesting.  Most journalists and commentators seem to have forgotten.

3: If they want to talk about who else Arsenal might buy, some insight would be good.  We have all heard 80,000 bloggers say that Arsenal need a new defensive midfielder – hearing someone say why not would be interesting – and if all they have to offer is the repeat of the old stories, then forget it.  But if they want to analyse the performance of Giroud over the past two seasons, that is quite interesting.

4: With the youngsters who are likely to be on show they really do need to know their stuff.  They might have an inkling about Zelalem, but the test of their seriousness in presenting a show like this over two days is whether they know much about Martinez.  Or Chris Willock.  Or Bellerin.  Or Hayden.

5.  It would also be good to get to grips with some mathematics so we don’t have the abysmal farce of last year.

6: Part of BT Sprout’s excuse for their awful build up to the announcement of the extension of their partnership with Arsenal has been that Manchester United and Liverpool were the clubs watched by most people on UK TV last season.  So they were pandering to the majority.  But pandering is no excuse in this market.  As Arsenal’s TV partner they are either with us or not.  We shall soon see.

7: And then we are back to the maths.  If you show more top clashes between certain teams they get bigger audiences.  They get bigger audiences because you show them more.  So you show them more because they get bigger audiences.

8: Some humility would not go amiss either.  Arsenal’s fixtures are totally wrecked by BT Sprout and Sky, and those of us who go to the matches can find ourselves changing fixture dates over and over again.   What Sprout and Sky don’t realise is that we try to have other lives, other things to do, people to see, places to be.  The ceaseless mucking about with fixtures is highly disruptive.  I don’t expect an apology but a recognition of the chaos caused in our families would be nice.

9:  There must be no deliberate cock-ups like the “Ozil has never before suffered the humiliation of being substituted at half time” malarky.  When a player is injured, say he is injured.  When you don’t know, say you don’t know.  Don’t make it up.

10: It would be nice for the Sprout Boys to recognise the quality of the stadium they are in.  Talking about Arsenal being the highest priced stadium will not be acceptable – because it is untrue, as articles on this site and in the Independent have shown.  A balanced view is needed, including saying that Arsenal’s cheap seats are less than the average cost for cheap seats in the Premier League.

Indeed following up point ten I’ll give them a personal snippet.  For convenience I purchased the tickets for Sunday for Ian and his two sons and myself, to sit at club level.  The cost of the club level seats for the young lads were £4 each.   A mention of that might be worthwhile.

I don’t expect it all, but some of the above really is a basic necessity if the Sprout is going to recover from the insulting mess of its start to the season.  Anything less will be rubbing salt into the wound.

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27 Replies to “2 August is BT Sport’s last chance to redeem themselves as Arsenal’s media partner.”

  1. You’re setting the bar a bit high there. I wouldn’t expect them to even get the match squad names right.

  2. Oldgroover – you are probably right – but nevertheless, it is the basic we ought to expect of any web site.

    By the way – sorry to everyone if you experienced a problem with Untold. I posted the article above and then the whole site went down.

    I can’t imagine why.

  3. They must to stop make stoopid commercials first. Owens is terrible commentator. Better Keown and Smiths, maybe they too good for BTs!!!

  4. Three of the game are being shown live on my cable channel so wasn’t going to bother with internet. Your blog has me curious so I will use the net as well.

  5. Good article Tony, well thought through.

    BT may not get everything right – but a considerable improvement on their previous antics is needed.

    Slightly off topic – just watched some of the synchronized diving from the Commonwealth Games – on regular TV not a stream!

    Strangely Gerrard and Suarez came to mind. 🙂

  6. WELL SAID……BT Sport are a disgrace re: Arsenal commentators.

    Michael Owen should never commentate on any of our matches he is just so biased against us.

    & now they are adding Jose as their football guru !!!!!!!

    I can hardly believe they are our media partner

    I think someone in the media Dept at BT is a Spurs / Chelsea/ Liverpool or Man U fan

  7. It seems to me that you really misunderstand the relationship between Arsenal & BT. They may well be your media partner but it is they that have paid for the partnership not the other way round.As they say the customer is always right and by taking their money unfortunately they call the tune.

    I do agree however about the poor quality of production and indeed the overall poor package that BT churn out but facts of the matter are that BT and Sky pay, without question in the case of Chelsea and quite probably likewise in respect of Arsenal indeed probably just about every PL club more to show games than is taken in respect of gate receipts. Which unfortunately means they BT & Sky call the tune.

  8. Knowing the poor quality of BT past coverage and the latest anti Arsenal adverts, seems to suggest that the money men at the club really don’t give a dam where the cash come from, as long as it does.

  9. Thanks to BT etc, millions of Arsenal supporters world-wide, will be able to watch two games (tomorrow and Sunday)in which their heroes will on view. Many will not understand English, so the commentary, thankfully, will not be understood.
    For the rest of us, the camera-work will be OK and the mute button handy.
    Better by far to watch Arsenal live on BT, than not watch at all.

  10. Yes, they need to be carefully observed this season to see if they change their mantra. Maybe BT is now going to get “on board” as partner, (at least for as long as they have broadcasting rights), but it does not seem that way.

    Still, i wonder what Arsenal is thinking?

    Mind you, Arsenal usually does not do things without reason.

    Hark the AW smile when he said “i hope that 6 players from Arsenal can win world cup for England”. The face of Arsenal is changing.

  11. As long as this partnership makes money for Arsenal, I don’t see any fuss. All media hates Arsenal FC whether they become media partners or not. I guess if we truly perform on pitch, I really don’t give a damn what they say. Let the intellectuals and civilians decide with their own eyes what they see. In a way, we get filtered from glory-seekers and trend-setters. Only the genuine will support Arsenal FC all the way.

  12. I wonder if you really will put this to bed if BT really do follow your 10 point plan for redemption, Tony?

    It has seemed to me it is a very personal gripe you have. All the above points to what BT have done since they created their Sports channel, yet you were against them ‘from the outset’. I guess, from your point of view, your fears may have been realised?
    I am with nicky and Michael Ram on this. It is the tele-visual part I, and many others, want and enjoy. The audio more often than not is just a background, unless they see something I missed. Or, as is the case more often, vice versa.
    So what can I expect to see from our next two matches his weekend?
    Arsene has said this is all about preparation and fitness, so I guess will only get glimpses of Sanchez and Chambers, a bit more from Debuchy, Campbell, Akom, and Sanogo, and only a snatch of Giroud as they are all vying for one or two slots. However, it would someone with a ‘special gift’ of foresight to get the midfield starters correct? The need for some to play will probably override those that have had some game time, which probably means fringe players will see the match from the bench. I would expect Hayden to have the best chance, as he has looked solid and might be worth testing him further at this level?
    If you can rise above the side issue, it will be good viewing. Enjoy!

  13. @Mandy Dodd,
    Lucky you to be able to attend the Emirates live this afternoon.
    Just spare a thought, though, for the millions around the globe who can’t share your good fortune and for whom BT and Sky are a positive godsend.

  14. Yes Para expanding on your last paragragh, in which Arsene mentions he hopes that one day, 6 ‘ENGLISH PLAYERS’ from Arsenal helping England to win the World Cup. I noticed the Media have conveniently brushed this issue aside, eventhough, Arsene is trying to help England achieve some long awaited glory. Instead we get constant critism of the Players, Manager & Club. However on the other hand Mourinho & Pelegini are branded as great managers,who could not care less for the deveopment of young English Players. Until the Media, so called expert pundits and our very own AAA stop their blinkered view, and appreciate what Arsene is trying to do for English Football, I fear our young will only become bit part to most of the PL Clubs

  15. Tony

    You haven’t a chance of them changing because they already know what they are doing. They will read that list of yours, laugh, and get even worse.

    These people are not as ignorant as they make out. Of course they all know the real math behind the prices. They just don’t give a fuck about the truth.

    And as for those defending it as nothing !! Geeeez.

    Certainly wouldn’t like to have some of you lot by my side in a tight corner !!

    Fuck me, talk about spineless.

  16. There is a limit in matters financial, beyond which there will always be a meltdown.
    The escalating wages chasing ticket prices chasing wages simply cannot continue.
    The day will come when a restrictive cap will be placed on both.
    It’s just a question of when……before or after the bubble has burst.

  17. The problem isn’t big money, big spending, it’s where the money comes from, that’s the issue.

    I see the ‘Oil’ money as some kind of ‘Quantative Easing’

    Effectively Chelsea, City, etc. are printing money to boost the economy.

    Now we all know that in the real world this can, in times of trouble, be very helpful, in many cases essential. As Now for example.

    But history tells us that it has a very nasty sting in the tail and certainly should only be done in extreme times, and definitely cannot go on indefinitely because it creates a false economy.

    An economy without the assets or trade to sustain itself. Eventually an economy built on just printing money will simply collapse.

    So having lots of money, and spending lots of money, should not be an issue if you have the assets, reserves, and healthy business model to sustain it.

    So the only bubbles that may, in deed almost certainly will burst, or indeed should be burst, are the ones inhabited by the ‘oilers’ and ‘Sugar Daddies’ who have created this Hypa Inflated, completely unsustainable merry go round of ‘spend more money, print more money’ in the first place.

  18. @Jambug,
    While I accept what you say about oil money having a lot to answer for,
    the problem of obscene wage and ticket price increases has, like a disease, spread to football clubs throughout the land.
    And in those clubs without the ominous presence of sugar daddies and their hand-outs, the onus is falling on the hard-done-by supporters to meet the bill.

  19. Realise I am lucky Nicky, though don’t to get to as many games as I would like to. Sky, BT. And anyone else…..all fine , as long as the volume mute control is selectively used……. according to personal preferences of course. The likes of Michael Owen should be neither seen nor heard

  20. @Mandy Dodd,
    This will be my second season with BT (only because they show a few Arsenal games).
    I can honestly say that I have no recollection of ANY of the broadcaster’s commentators or of any anti-Arsenal rants.
    Boy! Haven’t they wasted their time on the likes of me!

  21. Is this a start?
    I dont know how many people in UK ready the evening standard but i picked up a copy yesterday and they showed the advert of Mourinho without the Chelsea score line – full page ad. Then towards the sports area there was a small ad at the bottom showing Arsenal’s win over Liverpool in the FA Cup with the score line mentioned.

    I was thinking maybe this is a start on BT Sport redeeming themselves after quite a lot of Arsenal Fans complained.

  22. nicky

    “While I accept what you say about oil money having a lot to answer for,
    the problem of obscene wage and ticket price increases has, like a disease, spread to football clubs throughout the land.”

    Yes it has and who’s to blame?

    The problem is, like an inflated economy, it affects us all. Unless you are prepared to at least try to keep up, in the real world you starve, in the football world you fall back as to not be in the race.

    Liverpool nearly went under trying to keep up until, like sometimes happens in the real World, they where ‘bailed out’.

    Arsenal have refused to join in the merry go round to a large degree and look at the shit they’ve had to endure. One of the ways we’ve hung on to the coat tails of the ‘sponsored’ Clubs is to charge high prices. AND LOOK AT THE SHIT WE GET.

    Agree with, don’t care about, what ever a persons view is on the ‘oil’ money, fine, but don’t anyone try to pretend it’s anyone else’s fault but there’s that the cost of going to a football match has soared out of control.

  23. Jambug

    I would argue that it was Arsenal that started the spiral of huge ticket prices and something that they did way before the likes of RA purchased Chelsea

    In 1989/90 the average ticket price at Arsenal was £6.71. By 2003/4 (RA arrived at Chelsea in June 2003 ) It was costing £48 to sit in North Bank Upper. The lowest full priced tickets at were £26 for seats at the edge of the North Bank. The cost of a season ticket in Eat Stand Centre was £1650

    Source: The Beautiful Game?: Searching for the Soul of Football David Conn

  24. If only there was such a thing as a mouth injury I would like to see Michael taking some time off with a strained tongue or canker related troubles

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