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Friday, 23 June, 2000, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Is the TV deal good for viewers?
The BBC has lost the right to screen highlights of the English Premier League, effectively ending 35 years of top-flight coverage on Saturday's Match of the Day.Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
ITV gets the highlights while Sky will carry on showing live matches.
The Premier League's decision is a bitter blow to the BBC, which has seen its sports coverage badly eroded since the advent of multi-channel TV.
Fans must shell out to watch their teams on TV, but Sky argues that it has pumped millions into the game.
Should the BBC be allowed to screen more sport or should it accept market forces? Are you fed up with paying more to watch football or do you think it is value for money? What programmes do you think the BBC should be spending its money on?
Ed Bayley, USA (English)
This is just another example of the greedy way in which the Premier League works. I am personally sickened by this attitude and worry for the future of football. Do you think any of this money will filter down to the smaller clubs who really need it or be used for developing new talent?
I can guess what the answer will be.
There should be no sport or radio or TV at all. It encourages mindless morons to violence and actually gets talked about as if it matters! Only the totally brain dead sad zombies actually take any interest in sport and, for the sake of their illness, just as we no longer allow people to laugh at the lunatics in Bedlam, we should forbid sport to all those who like it.
Good riddance to Match of the Day. Hopefully snooker and golf will go the same way. I suppose that it is too much to expect some interesting and entertaining programming to be produced on BBC1 now. So, we'll just end up with a different pile of rubbish on TV, which is why I watch less and less of it now.
There are other sports out there -
football isn't the be all and end all!
We've got world class players in many
sports - for example McRae in
rallying, Ben Ainslie in sailing who is
invariably in a class of his own, there's
the round the world sailing races also.
Our hockey teams are also highly
skilled. Granted, the golf coverage
of our talented players is still available,
but for how much longer?
Simon Feegrade, England
Why don't the BBC get the rights for non-premier games. Since there are far more teams involved, they could show quite a few games. This would enable people to vote with their feet. If there was football on terrestrial TV, would people pay a premium to watch the premiership games. The money would go to help the struggling clubs below the premiership, perhaps allowing them to close the gap. People might even get interested in the game and (gasp) go to watch a game live!
It's really not that big a deal. I will be personally saddened not to watch MOTD on a Saturday anymore, but I'm sure Des won't let ITV spoil it - they've done a good job with F1. Plus Sky have done a brilliant job with football over the past 4 years - far more live football than ever before and they have pushed the quality of sports broadcasting over the past 10 years.
The Premiership has the richest domestic club in the world and the lions share of TV money goes to the top placed clubs which invariably are the wealthiest.
The recent deal won by the BBC was in my opinion the better option as the money is more likely to be invested in an equal and ethical manner.
Live TV football is what most terrestrial viewers want and the BBC will now be showing more in the near future.
It was only about a month ago that Grandstand was not on Saturday morning at all due to the complete lack of BBC rights. The BBC have now lost Match of the Day and a long while ago now lost the F1 Grand Prix. With the loss of these sports, the BBC also lost their personalities with Des Lynam and Murray Walker disappearing off to the sunnier side that is ITV. How long will it be before ITV grab Gary Linekar and the likes. The way the BBC should move into the 'New Millennium' should be by scrapping the license fee, showing adverts and spending less money on programmes for improving gardens, homes and other repetitive programming.
Football gets far too high a priority on network TV.
The great majority of viewers have to put up with disrupted program schedules for the minority just because its cheap TV.
BBC's commitment to sports coverage is pathetic. I think this event may finally shake up their team, and perhaps get some people interested in sport rather than just football. The BBC has given no coverage at all on TV, radio or online of the just finished single handed transatlantic yacht race, won in a historic victory by a British girl Ellen MacArthur, the youngest competitor and the youngest winner. It is shameful negligence on the BBC's part of what was a tremendous race right to the finish.
Zaki Moosa, South Africa
This has been a sad week for football in this country. The end of Match of the Day is particularly hard for me to bear. It is a disgrace. The money the BBC has saved from losing other sports should have been put towards a bid to keep Match of the Day. Why do we bother paying our licence fee when the BBC obviously does not want to cater for us?
I feel that the BBC, rather than complain about this setback, should concentrate on showing more of other kinds of programmes instead. Personally, I find that there is nothing more frustrating than settling down to watch a TV programme and then finding that it has been cancelled due to the golf.
Eleanor Hill, UK
Sorry not to express my joy earlier but I have been busy celebrating the fact that at least one channel will have less football.
May I suggest the money be spent on more worthwhile and more interesting programmes - dominoes or arm wrestling spring to mind. Perhaps you could get cricket back or some of the golf recently lost.
Most people seem to have missed the fact that we will still be able to see the matches, but on ITV. Are there really people who only watch BBC?
Having just moved to the USA I have only just seen this item. The BBC should be seeing this as a golden opportunity to develop its viewing in other so called minority sports and showing the world champions we have in those sports and leave the commercial stations to concentrate on what is now a second rate sport. We have so many world champions in this country but very little coverage of their sport because it doesn't have the sponsorship of golf, motor racing, snooker and football. It is time the BBC did what it should be doing and represent all the country in all aspects of sporting life.
Whilst I am not at all interested in Football, as a Formula One fan I can sympathise with the football fans out there.
However the move of F1 to ITV has not actually ruined the coverage, it has improved it. The only remaining problem is the intrusive commercial breaks.
Steve Murray, Grimsby, UK
Sky and the Premier League have used their monopoly position to extract huge amounts of money from the public. The Government is supposed to protect us from this kind of cartel. When are they going to act?
Match of the Day must be saved, it is a national institution. Saturday nights will never be the same. It's about time the FA put the fans before money.
I think it's a sad day for football, and for the supporters.
Michael Franklin, Switzerland
I'm amazed at how much noise the BBC is making about losing their bid. I also cannot understand why most people seem upset about the loss of Match of the Day. Does it really matter that much which channel shows the highlights? What does annoy me is the fact that the Nationwide league clubs are left further behind, but the BBC doesn't care about them anyway. There must be millions of interested followers of the lower league clubs, yet the BBC gives them negligible coverage.
I always remember when, some years ago, ITV won the rights to screen highlights of overseas Test matches.
Their "commitment" to the sport amounted to showing those highlights at 1 am, in some areas, not at all in others.
In other words, a spoiling operation to take this away from the BBC.
It is a disgrace that the BBC even thought about giving £120 million pounds of licence payers' money to twenty of England's richest private businesses.
I hope the corporation will use the cash to produce some investigative journalism, proper factual programmes - rather than docusoaps and make-overs, and some contemporary drama by new writers.
Like several of your other correspondents, I think a dedicated sport channel on terrestrial TV would be an excellent idea. Then sportophobes, like me, who cannot bear watching any sport at all on TV, could avoid it all much more easily.
It serves the BBC right. They were the ones that betrayed the licence fee payers when they sided with Sky to prevent live football being shown on terrestrial TV. You reap what you sow.
Stewart Spink, UK
Frankly, I'm disgusted and disappointed to hear of yet another blow to public service broadcasting. Throughout the first days of Euro 2000, the BBC has consistently beaten ITV hands-down for analysis and commentary. The BBC panel is more erudite and entertaining while ITV is more tabloid and is constantly interrupted for ad-breaks. The end of Match of the Day means a further commercialisation and dumbing-down of football.
Why are we still expected to pay for watching the BBC when most popular programmes have moved to pay per-view channels?
Congratulations to Sky and NTL. The advent of new media competition has propelled sports broadcasting standards forward and strengthened the game. New stadia, exciting overseas players and dramatically improved coverage. People generally resist change at the time. How many would like to turn the clock back 10 years when the game was at a low ebb?
It is inevitable that the BBC has limitations in what it can and can't do, although that raises questions about its current manner of funding. This is a complicated issue because it is more than just the right to show football. It goes much deeper in the way we perceive and want the BBC to operate. It can't afford to be all things to all people. We also have to look at the way football has changed over the years. Unfortunately there are no easy solutions or winners at the end of the day.
The BBC should look on this as an opportunity. They should use the revenue they would otherwise have spent on football to promote less fashionable sports and make them more popular. Equally, they could devote more cash to producing better programmes and series to knock their rivals off the nation's screens. This loss presents the best opportunity in years for improving the quality of BBC output. They should stop complaining and go for it.
Simon, expat in the USA
The huge difference in quality between the BBC's and ITV's coverage of Euro 2000 illustrates clearly what a disaster it is for football fans that Match of the Day is ending
Canada's equivalent of "Match of the Day" is "Hockey Night in Canada" broadcast by CBC, the national public broadcaster, and sponsored by Molson Breweries which means that you can't watch ice hockey without being bombarded by beer advertising.
Is that the way you want to go in Britain?
Here in Norway the two major channels, NRK and TV2 have been fighting for sport rights for 8 years. The director of broadcasting for NRK, Einar Førde said that closer co-operation was necessary if Norwegian viewers were to have the right to see their own football league without paying for it. In just a few months, a new digital sport channel owned by NRK and TV2 will be launched. Of course, the two channels will still be hard opponents, but they will also be fighting together against international media companies.
Maybe an idea for the BBC and ITV?
Proof yet again that "greed is good"
Peter Allman, England
The BBC, like any other corporation,
should accept market forces. Market
forces are the only reliable system of
distribution for goods and services.
Mark Woodward, UK
If the BBC does not manage to win rights for the FA and Worthington Cups, then I only hope that the other channels find room for the likes of Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen and John Motson.
The Premier League management gloat about the great deal and how it will mean success for UK football.
Excuse me? This money will go to clubs who will buy foreign players rather than bother investing in domestic talent.
Our national team will not benefit much from this huge increase. Instead we'll be creating a great big playground for foreign players to gain skills only to go home and line up against us in European and World Championships.
Robert Brown, England
It is a great shame that major companies such as Sky are able to outbid the BBC by such a vast amount. While no one can deny that Sky's domination of coverage on television has raised the profile of Premiership football it cannot be good for the majority of football fans who cannot afford Sky, are forced to pay the licence fee, and are then unable to watch live football.
Helen Townsend, England
Well, I breathe a sigh of relief. It would be better
for me if all sport was on a dedicated channel.
I'm fed up with overrunning sport taking precedence
over scheduled programmes.
I was saddened to see the FA press conference on BBC News 24 with the BBC loosing the rights to the Premier League highlights package. Maybe it is time for the BBC to create a subscription channel to raise money to keep sports coverage alive. Would it be possible for the BBC to work with Flextech to create a "UK SPORT" channel? This could be used to help to keep the current portfolio of sport on BBC terrestrial television (Wimbledon, Six Nations Rugby, Olympics etc), raise capital to win live sport for the subscription channel, and provide highlighted coverage for the BBC.
The Premier League have made a big mistake. People are suggesting that Des Lynam attracted the Premier League to ITV. For me, Lynam is nothing more then a mediocre sprorts present. He has lost his charm and barely manages to fit in a smile. In contrast, Gary Lineker is a new fresh face - which fits in with the image of football. With his footballing knowledge, sense of humour and his intelligence, Lineker is head and shoulders above Lynam. If anything, I watch Match of the Day to watch Lineker
Colin Dickson, England
I have enjoyed many a match in the lower divisions better than some Premier matches. Come on Beeb, do a deal with the Nationwide in the same vane as Murdoch and let's see some grass roots footie whilst pumping well-needed money into our national sport.
I must say, I have to laugh. This was coming more than 5 years ago. Very stupidly, people starting subscribing to "Sky" et al, in the belief that it offered superior programmes than terrestrial TV. In truth we have simply ended up paying 10 times more to see what BBC and ITV offered anyway. Is football 10 times better than it was? You had better believe so, for you are paying for it.
Damien Cahill, Ireland
The loss of Premiership soccer by the BBC is to be regretted because, as the UK's main public service broadcaster, the Corporation should aim to reflect major aspects of the Nation's culture. Nevertheless, the BBC cannot be prepared to write a blank cheque to anyone, let alone money-grabbing sports organisations.
In the future, this could be the death knell, not just for football, but also for games such as rugby, and cricket which despite their national prominence do not have a large following. The BBC still wants to show sport, and if it is priced out of domestic sport, there are a number of very wealthy American-based sports out there that are not desperate for TV money, but need to increase their global exposure. If the BBC can sell snooker, what could it do for the NBA, the NHL, and the NFL?
The BBC is the only media to broadcast football highlights with unbiased, analytical commentary. The after-match analysis is a discussion rather than a question and answer session and Match of the Day has always been presented in an appropriate fashion, without advertisements.
Travelling in the United States at the moment, I am saddened and dismayed to hear that the BBC has lost this bid. It is wrong to think that commercials are the answer to the bidding problems in public television. Indeed being here in the States, it is clear that advertising is literally destroying the art of television entertainment. I can assure you that it is not entertaining at all to view US TV, rather it is an exercise in abominable frustration. It would be a tragedy for us to go down the same path in Britain.
I will miss watching Match of the Day. I'm from Holland and the only English broadcaster that is on cable is the BBC. So, in a year's time, no more English football for me. I will miss the commitment of everybody involved, the atmosphere in the stadiums and how it is all presented by knowledgeable people with a lot of love and respect for the game. I will still watch all the major international competitions on the BBC. From all your fans from abroad, my sincerest condolences. You will be missed!!
P.S. Good luck against the Germans!!
The amount of money in this deal is ridiculous for a 1 hour highlights show that is screened once a week, I never knew the Premiership was so greedy.
What advantages has the (so-called) free market in TV sport given the public? 15 years ago they could watch almost any major sporting event live on the BBC. The production was high quality and the medium universal. Moreover after the licence fee it was free. Now we must pay to watch individual matches on top of the subscriptions to Sky and the licence fee.
It is a pity that the BBC has lost the Premiership highlights rights to ITV. Their presentation has always been, and still is far superior. However the amount being paid to football is excessive and totally unjustified - unless the money is to be put into local football.
I am a pretty easy-going guy - I have never expressed my comments to something like this before. I heard the news on Radio 2 . This is disgusting. All the hype about a ratings war for Euro 2000 - what ratings war? The BBC coverage has always been far superior to anything ITV offer - even when Des went across. Can we not lobby the Premier League?
Considering the Director General made it his personal mission to hold onto Premier League rights, this is terrible news. Is £20 million a year too much to pay? I don't think so. What has happened to all the money that used to be used for other sporting rights but which is no longer needed. BBC presentation is the best in the business and I want to see football where it belongs with our national broadcaster, not on inferior commercial TV.
My question is, what's the point in having a public broadcaster if it is not allowed to show the nation's favourite sport? It can't be right. The BBC should be allowed to negotiate an exclusive deal with the two football leagues to show highlights at least. The Premier League chairmen might be patting themselves on their backs at the great deals they've done but what happens if football falls out of favour again like it did in the 1980s? It will be the BBC that will be left to pick up the broadcasting pieces.
ITV's soccer coverage is a disgrace since Brian Moore retired. They have the FA Cup and the Champions League and neither have been covered in a manner that these prestigious competitions deserve. I dread to think what they will do with the Premiership.
It seems pretty obvious to me that the Premiership would not be the "best league in the world" if the BBC still held the TV rights.
The money the new deal will give the sport will surely ensure the that English league retains this position.
I will be sad to see the end of BBC coverage of the English Premiership. It is undoubtedly due to the BBC's coverage in the past that led to the current success of the league as well as other sports such as snooker and F1. The TV viewer and the armchair fan will be the losers in this new deal, as it will cost more to watch the games on pay-per-view than it did on the BBC. Will the BBC still have the rights to games in Scotland? Will the BBC be bringing us any games from abroad? Maybe South America for example?
Although it is a blow to the BBC, it has to look at the way it produces its sports coverage. The way that the other television companies had presented their programmes, i.e. cricket and F1 have made it more refreshing. The only downside is the constant interruptions for the adverts.
It's a simple matter of survival. The BBC can survive without football, Sky can't - therefore they are always going to justify higher bids
It is ridiculous, more and more money for the FA. Sport certainly isn't the main point, otherwise the BBC would still have the highlights programme. More and more money is all they want. In a few years time nobody will be able to afford the licenses. The BBC should have the highlights.
Derek Summers, England
What a disaster. While I acknowledge that Sky have raised the profile of the game and forced all TV stations to improve the standard of their coverage, I cannot help but think that this new deal will prove to be a long term disaster. The sheer amount of football on the screen is now in real danger of overload, and I feel that the vast amounts of money will not be fairly distributed.
I was shocked and saddened to hear that the BBC has now lost yet another one of its flagship sporting coverage programmes to the vastly inferior ITV. We hear that the rights to the FA Cup and other competitions are still up for grabs, but let's face it, the BBC are almost guaranteed to be outbid on these event too. Is there any way that the BBC could launch some sort of subscription sporting channel? I'd pay anything to see the BBC cover these events in preference to any other channel, given that they are head and shoulders above every other broadcaster in terms of quality.
Mick Westby, England
In my opinion, Sky had to win the rights otherwise there was no reason for having Sky sports channels.
As a sport and media student, I have extensively studied the effects of domination that companies such as Sky can have on terrestrial TV. If these companies gain all the rights for major league soccer then all the viewers that would normally watch it on BBC and ITV will be at a disadvantage. It isn't right that viewers should have to depend on multi-national companies to bring them a sport they should be able to watch on terrestrial television.
Reg Alderton, UK
The deal means that the big clubs such as Manchester Utd are getting richer, yet at the same time the grass roots of football, i.e. 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisions are getting nothing like the amount of funding the Premier League gets.
It's sad that this new deal means that "Match of the Day" is over. However, there will now be highlights on both Saturdays and Sundays, and hopefully at the same times each week. If the new ITV highlights programme is up to scratch then it will not be the end of the world.
14 Jun 00 | FA Carling Premiership
BBC loses Premier League rights
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