Day: April 5, 2010

Football At The World Cup: Part Three (1994-2006)

We move on this evening to the final part of the history of the British television coverage of the World Cup finals, which takes us from FIFA’s revolutionary idea to hold the tournament in a non-traditional football environment to the introduction of High Definition broadcasting four years ago. On the pitch, however, the football frequently flattered to deceive and the broadcasters were left to try and make up the slack with more and more desperate marketing gimmicks. The 1990s saw television go from being a sport watched, broadly, by a hardcore into a mass commercial entertainment medium, with predictably mixed results. Was the 1990 World Cup the summit of what television broadcasters in Britain could expect? The football may have been less than inspiring at times, but the outstanding camera work of the Italian broadcasters gave the tournament a number of iconic images and a better than expected England performance saw audience figures rise to a level not seen for over two decades and, in its own way, kick-started the renaissance of the game in a country that had spent much of the previous decade getting kicked from pillar to post. With the Premier League getting into full swing, the 1994 World Cup might prove to be an even greater success on the box than the one held four years previously. Any hopes that the television audiences in Britain...

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Match Of The Week: Worthing 2-1 Croydon Athletic

It’s a big weekend of football across the length and breadth of the country. One of the unique qualities of the English football season is the way in which, over the course of the Easter weekend, we pass seamlessly from the tail end of the mid-season into the final straights. Saturday lunchtime sees Manchester United play Chelsea at Old Trafford in the Premier League’s match of the weekend. We watch it in a pub near the sea front in Worthing, West Sussex, surrounded by braying men in Manchester United and Chelsea replica shirts and Chelsea edge a critical win, but this is only a sideshow prior to the main event. Woodside Road is a mile and a half or so from Worthing town centre, but it’s about a million miles from Old Trafford. Set in the middle of a residential housing area in the north side of the town, it’s a hotch potch of corrugated iron and wooden structures with a large, pre-fabricated stand that runs three-quarters of the length of the pitch. We’re here today for what could be the last hurrah for Worthing’s bid for automatic promotion from the Ryman League Division One South. The race at the top of the table has come down to three sides. Croydon Athletic lead the table, with Folkestone Invicta in second place and Worthing in third. Croydon are six points...

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