So the England Ukraine World Cup qualifier this weekend is only going to be shown over the internet. And if you only decide to watch it on Saturday, it’s going to cost you £12.99 for the privilege.
Given that England have already qualified, no broadcaster wanted to pay the asking price for the rights to show it.
This must be one of the most ugly, stupid, venal, blinkered, cruel, callous, cynical, nasty, plain fucking daft decisions ever taken in sports coverage.
Apart from the obvious social exclusion here – if you’re not affluent enough to have a decent computer and broadband internet connection, tough shit – this move will cost pubs millions in lost revenue. Not everyone likes watching a big match in the pub, but many of us do. When places are rammed with fans, you get a special atmosphere that simply can’t be replicated in the home. You get a sense of community and companionship that’s all too rare these days. I’m not sure if pubs would even be permitted to try to show the game through a laptop. But it would probably be pretty rubbish even if they did. Anyone who wants to watch the game will have to do so sitting at their pc.
Given that England have already qualified, can I suggest that every England fan who cares goes to the pub when the match is on anyway, and spend your money on beer instead of with these greedy bastards?