Day: July 14, 2010

All Hail Spain, Champions Of The World

Obviously, for a football snob like myself, even the best televised football is a poor substitute for watching a couple of Scottish lower league sides playing kick and rush on a muddy pitch, but I have to say I enjoyed that World Cup. More than any other since 1994, at least, though admittedly I didn’t watch so much of the last couple. Maybe there weren’t any real classic games like the Romania v Argentina game of that year, or France v Brazil from 1986, maybe there weren’t many outstanding individual performances, but after a quiet start it developed into an enthralling tournament. All four quarter-finals and both semis provided terrific entertainment, in their own ways, and the final was – if not a classic – then a good game too.

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World Cup 2010: Why It’s Time To Reinvent Televised Football

Last night, Mark Murphy tore into the coverage of the 2010 World Cup in British television. This evening, in the second of our two-parter on British television at the World Cup, Ian King argues that it is time to rip up the rule book and start all over again. In the multi-media age, it isn’t just the newspapers that are suffering. As more and more people download their favourite television programmes (often illegally), advertising revenues are plummeting and purse-strings are being pulled tighter and tighter. The idea of the shared viewing experience is starting to become a thing of the past, except in one area of broadcasting: sport and, in particular, football. Live sports broadcasts offer something that can’t be downloaded and saved for later. The viewer has to be there at the time, in front of a television screen or a computer monitor. It is (for a commercial broadcaster, at least) the perfect captive audience. As football has grown in popularity across the globe, television audiences for matches have become almost unparalleled. An estimated seven hundred million people watched the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands last Sunday, including a television audience over twenty million in Britain. Yet, while the number of people was vast by any calculations, the critical reception that the broadcasters in Britain received was tepid, to say the least. In stark...

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