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October 2020
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Could this be the time when the broadcasting of football finally changes?

It has probably never been said before, but Facebook and Google’s sales look like they are going down as a result of the virus crisis.

However since most other companies are seeing revenue falls at about 10 times the amount of Facebook and Google, it probably doesn’t bother anyone too much.

Travel and entertainment adverts have gone, and so the two giants are charging much lower prices than they used to see.  Their revenues will decline – but they will still be the dominant giants because everyone else will suffer even more.

Everyone, except one that is.

For this is Amazon’s dream time.  Shops shut, people can’t go out.  You want something, where are you going to buy it?

This Christmas Amazon continued its exploration of football on its site with a week of games that were not shown live anywhere else.  It was apparently quite a success.

And Amazon, as we know, grows all the time, not least because at the moment, most of us can’t get to the shops.

Meanwhile, BT Sprout and Sky are in very dangerous territory.  Both utterly depend on football as their driving force.  Everything else is secondary, not least because most other things can be got on other channels.  You want films – well yes there are films on Sky, but there are many more on Netflix etc.  Sky is being squeezed in all its main areas – and of all the main areas football is the biggest.

Even Twitter is in decline at the moment it seems.  Google, Facebook and Amazon are the only three mega-businesses that are safe.  Which makes them the obvious new home of football.

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True Facebook ads have declined 35 per cent to 50 per cent on average in the past month but there is no doubt that when the virus does pass and the lockdown ends, they will bounce back immediately.  And the thought of hitting out at the giant broadcasters by grabbing football rights must be very tempting.

And there is a danger in all this, because as we have seen, Middle East countries are not short of money or interest in buying football clubs and football broadcast rights.  Some may feel there is no danger in having these countries own PSG, Manchester City and Newcastle United, but these are fundamentally undemocratic countries with a wide disregard for human rights as we understand them in the west.  The more of our traditions they control, the more they control us.

Of course, Facebook and Google do not have everything their own way because advertisers do not want their product advertised next to items about deaths from coronavirus.  But Facebook and Google are very nifty when it comes to ensuring advertisers are comfortable with the content that their advertisements appear alongside.

Amazon, of course, doesn’t have this problem because it has its own TV channel.  But there is nothing to stop Facebook and Google doing the same, and launching their own channels which are separated from the rest of their content and visible through computers or TVs.

And going into football could be exactly what Google needs, especially as it reported that it had taken down 50 million advertisements as of the end of March, and 80 percent of these were coronavirus related.  When your advertisers are causing problems, what you need is new product.

Facebook likewise knocked out advertisements for masks, sanitizer and other personal protective equipment, and this is the sort of thing that gives it a bad name.  So having a TV channel of its own is exactly the sort of thing it could do with, and that will give it another way of selling advertising, to a different group of companies.

The problem for BT Sprout and Sky is that their model is very much very last century, when satellite TV was exciting and all the rage.  Now we wonder why films have migrated to Netflix and the like, but football is still stuck in the old media.  This could be the moment it changes, as indeed Amazon has shown.

And if it does move, let us hope that it can resist the error-strewn path that the Sprout and Sky have taken with their own fake news about injuries, yellow cards, and the like, plus their refusal to deal seriously PGMO.   If any of these three corporations could get the rights to football without having any engagement with PGMO we might at least hear commentaries that start with the fact that this is the tenth time this season Referee X has overseen Arsenal, “and that surely cannot be right”.

They might even question why they are never allowed to interview the referee post match.

9 comments to Could this be the time when the broadcasting of football finally changes?

  • omgarsenal

    Great points Tony, especially since Amazon and company seem to ignore any restrains placed on them by politicos, public opinion and ethical/moral concerns. However their principle failings are their avariciousness, lack of social ethos, dreadful history of abusing information and data and to top it all off, their ownership model….top down management by one person whose vision of the world doesn’t seem to harmonize with normal human needs and expectations. What the future of Football broadcasting would look like with these guys in charge would be problematic indeed.

  • Gord

    OT: Arsenal Medja raqgging on Mustafi

    It was nice to see this Arsenal.com article about Mustafi in the community.

    https://www.arsenal.com/news/mustafi-pledges-support-arsenal-foundation

    Medja, please go to hell, and take Pierce Shithead with you.

  • Gord

    According to Marca, Aubameyang is the third fastest football player at 35.5 kph.

  • Gord

    ThePinkUn has an article talking about some article produced by Bet O’Clock on analysizing VAR in the 5 big European leagues.

    https://www.pinkun.com/norwich-city/sainty-on-var-1-6612690

    What this author pulls out of the other report, is just how different the EPL and PGMO is from the other 4 leagues. They pick a couple of possibilities which don’t turn up here often for reasons.

  • Gord

    Some blurb which seemed to suggest that players could wear masks while playing?

    Most masks have been designed to work under low volumetric flow rates and conditions of little tensing of muscles of the head and neck. I suppose the masks that have seen the most concern for higher flowrates and active movements of muscles might be for firefighters. I can’t see players wearing that kind of mask.

    But even if players did wear masks, what happens if one player takes the mask off another player? Accident or on purpose.

  • Gord

    Another blurb, talks about TV inserting fake fan noise into TV broadcasts of empty stadiums.

    https://onefootball.com/en/news/fake-fan-noise-and-more-planned-for-games-behind-closed-doors-29728258

    This is exactly the wrong thing. They have inflicted us with fake intelligence in the form of muppets making comments on the game. The only noise we want (or at least I want) is the “actual” noise from the stadium, no commentary at all.

  • Gord

    Changing the Rules?

    Some medja drainpipe invented an article with a bit of an interview with the manager of Leicester when PGMO handed them the title.

    I think it is grasping at straws.

    If the league has to finish, it surely has to finish under the same laws it had when it was suspended? If the powers that be want to screw around with rules for next season, they can do that. But you can’t change the number of substitutions, the number of players on the field, the duration of a game and call things the same.

    To me, the entire article was an argument as to why the season is cancelled (it never happened).

  • Gord

    Buyer’s market

    I believe a medja drainpipe invented an article based on an interview with a politician about football. So, take it with a 20kg bag of salt as to what was said. But supposedly, a particular starplayer could be sold this summer at a 80% discount. You then think that ordinary players are probably worth at most, 10% of their value last transfer window.