The Decline Of Television And The Decline Of The FA Cup


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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8 Responses

  1. Jordan Byrom says:

    Your argument against putting Arsenal V Leeds on television is mind boggling and seems heavily biased, apart from the Manchester derby this is perhaps the most stand out fixture. Look at Leeds’ history in recent years in cup competitions, they have beat the likes of Manchester United at old trafford as well as drawing with Spurs and Arsenal in their own back yard . TV companies will always look for ratings, ALWAYS, and Arsenal v Leeds is guaranteed ratings due to two main reasons: Leeds and Arsenal both have a great number of supporters, as well as neutrals know the history of Leeds and have seen them compete as underdogs in the last few years. So overall it would be a travesty for this game to not be shown in favour of much much smaller games.

  2. James says:

    I can see where Jordan is coming from. My immediate instinct is usually to want to see something like Fleetwood v. Blackpool as I do like the opportunity to see smaller clubs that you would not normally get a chance to see on television. And yet I know that there is a good chance that if the big club scores an early goal, it will not go on to be much of a contest and will therefore become a bit boring. There does seem a chance that Leeds could at least give Arsenal a close game (though it does have to be admitted that Arsenal at their best could run riot) and these two clubs, for better or worse, are likely to bring more viewers simply due to having more fans in the first place. So, adding likely competition (and more chance of a ‘shock’ result) and viewing figures into the mix, it no surprise that Leeds and Arsenal would get put on ahead of a game that would pull less viewers and is at even more of a risk of being really one-sided.

  3. Jamie says:

    Why wouldn’t the broadcasters show Arsenal vs Leeds? As you pointed out both clubs are big draws, Leeds have recent history in pushing or testing Premier League opposition in Cup competitions Liverpool in the Carling Cup, Manchester United in the FA Cup, Arsenal in the FA Cup and Tottenham in the same competition have all recieved more than they bargained for against the media’s most loathed ‘fallen giant’ Leeds United.

    Aside from that Leeds and Aresnal has substation FA Cup history, of course there’s the 1972 1-0 win for Leeds United, in 1991 the fourth round tie between the clubs went to a 3rd replay with Arsenal eventually taking the spoils (if I’m not mistaken) and of course last year Leeds United were denied a second consecutive third round victory against a ‘big’ Premiership club away from home with a contentious penalty awarded in the 90th minute to the home side.

    It’s also a chance to break away from the rather drab Premier League fixture calander which features such blockbusters as Bolton vs Wigan and showcase two historically successful club with huge international fan bases (I’m writing this from Australia) fight it out in a winner takes all game.

    What’s not to love?

  4. Steve says:

    The magic of the FA cup has always been its tradition. Lets go back to 3pm kick offs (or at least all on the same day) , next round draws at 5pm and highlights of as many games as posible shown on TV in the old Match of the Day style.
    FA cup days used to be special, with pre match buildups, ‘giant killing’, visiting lower league grounds etc., and still would be if they hadn’t been tampered with.

  5. Chris says:

    Incredibly, Leeds United’s last 12 consecutive FA cup ties have been live on TV going back as far as the 07/08 seaso. Like it or not, Leeds are a cash cow for the TV companies. We have a big fan base all over the country that is probably only behind (and I think level with some of) the “top 4” in the premiership. Plus footballs general hatred of Leeds United means most opposition fans will tune in to cheer on whoever we are playing. Together with a run of tasty FA cup fixtures for Leeds what else did you really expect?

  6. Frank Heaven says:

    The answer is simple – give the FA Cup winners a place in the Champions League. It would immediately restore meaning, interest, and (sadly but importantly) cash incentive to the competition.

    Unfortunately, the FA are more likely to admit playing semi-finals at Wembley is a bad idea than even contemplate it.

  7. PETE says:

    Frank Heaven is utterly mistaken, his answer is so simple he hasn’t bothered to check its accuracy. The last team to WIN the FA Cup who didn’t already have Champions League qualification were Portsmouth (v Cardiff) in 2008, before that it was Everton in 1995.

    It also seems to have escaped his understanding that the FA don’t decide who gets Champions League qualification but UEFA; and they have repeatedly rejected requests for the FA Cup winners to be allowed to enter.

    I agree with Steve, TV has single-handedly destroyed the magic of the Cup and to return to all games kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday, with no live game at all until the 6th round and everyone will be clamouring to watch the games again. But TV won’t like that and their money calls the tunes.

  8. Often Partisan says:

    Blues v wolves is on as it can be billed as a derby…rightly or wrongly.

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