Sport on Terrestrial Telly

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Liverpoolphil

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So yesterday there was 4 big Sporting events - all thrilling, outstanding battles and edge of the seat stuff

The cricket final was prob watched by over 10 mil

The Tennis final prob had the same level of viewing figures

Both were brilliant to watch and will be nothing but positive for the sport and attract people

F1 will have the same level as normal

But the Scottish Open went to multiple play off holes and was excellent but I suspect a tiny amount watched it

This week it’s the biggest event in the sport and if it goes down to a final day thriller it’s going to be lost on most of the nation because it’s stuck behind a paywall

So how does the country value it’s sport ? Well we can see the impact of the Olympics when they were hosted by the UK ?

So is it time for something to be done to find a way to get more sport away from the paywall and onto the terrestrial telly
 

HomerJSimpson

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It is clear and obvious how TV views sport by the mere fact that aside from the golden jewels (Wimbledon, Olympics, boat race - is that even relevant in this day and age) there is precious little else offered. Terrestrial TV don't have the desire or the power to bid for broadcasting rights and sadly whether you like it or not there is precious little I can see that will be done to reverse that now. With the increase in viewing platforms and more and more digital access, more and more stuff will end up on digital TV.

In my opinion the choice is very simple. As a fan of numerous sports I am prepared to pay to get access to the sports channels and have these at my disposal 24/7. If I was a fan of a particular event (take the Open) I would look to find ways to get access for that event only. It boils down to consumer choice

In terms of participation numbers, the cricket will have caught the imagination of a lot of young viewers but the onus isn't with the TV companies to give the wider platform and access but with governing bodies to really get into grass roots level and provide the equipment, facilities and coaches to give kids the chance to try these sports out and then given them a regular place to play and improve
 

Hacker Khan

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As I understand it the governance of the sports make the decision on how much will be available 'for free' (and I know that term is subjective) and how much will be behind a paywall. There are many ways to broadcast a sport nowadays (youtube, twitter etc) in addition to terrestrial TV. The sports make the call on how easy the sport will be to view for a majority of the population. I'm pretty sure up to now a sport could get more money by giving it exclusively to pay TV companies (not sure how much social media companies will distrupt that in the future) and you can tell where the priorities of the sports lie by how easy that sport is to see for a lot of the population.

Fair play to cricket as they (belatedly in my opinion) made the world cup easily accessible to view and they had the fortune to have one of the most exciting cricket patches ever as a showcase. Said it before but if golf made the Ryder Cup a lot easier to view for a lot of the population then at the very least it would be in the consciousnesses of more people. Whether that will lead to more playing the game is another argument, but I can't see it reducing the number.
 

Hacker Khan

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It is clear and obvious how TV views sport by the mere fact that aside from the golden jewels (Wimbledon, Olympics, boat race - is that even relevant in this day and age) there is precious little else offered. Terrestrial TV don't have the desire or the power to bid for broadcasting rights and sadly whether you like it or not there is precious little I can see that will be done to reverse that now. With the increase in viewing platforms and more and more digital access, more and more stuff will end up on digital TV.

In my opinion the choice is very simple. As a fan of numerous sports I am prepared to pay to get access to the sports channels and have these at my disposal 24/7. If I was a fan of a particular event (take the Open) I would look to find ways to get access for that event only. It boils down to consumer choice

In terms of participation numbers, the cricket will have caught the imagination of a lot of young viewers but the onus isn't with the TV companies to give the wider platform and access but with governing bodies to really get into grass roots level and provide the equipment, facilities and coaches to give kids the chance to try these sports out and then given them a regular place to play and improve
Also boils down to money. I'm a fan of The Open but I don't see Sky Sports as good value. If they did a deal where you could access the golf channel for a month for a decent amount then I may well go for it. But the only option I can see is Now TV at 34 quid for a month so I suppose I'm making the choice to not bother. Shame as I remember part of my childhood involved watching the Open and that being one of the factors that got me interested in the sport.
 

Crow

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If pay-to-view TV with all its bells and whistles is as great as some suggest, and it's what the avid sports fan wants to watch, then it should be possible to have both options available:
  • Paywall TV for "true" sports fans - this platform should still be able to attract enough viewers to pay for itself.
  • Free to air terrestrial for the casual viewer - who doesn't care for multiple replays and analysis but just wants to watch the action on an occasional basis.
 

pendodave

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The minority sports that have taken the sky money always chat about using the cash to grow the game etc, but I don't buy it.
It certainly buys nice administrators' salaries, but a game grows by getting a large chunk of people interested in it. Free to air telly is by far the best way of achieving this. If someone is keen to play, they'll find a way, but without mass exposure, all those 'funded initiatives' are mainly preaching to the coveted.
 

Crow

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So hands up Paywall fans, who would continue to pay their money to Sky and Co if terrestrial had all sports available but produced to an inferior standard?
 

Dan2501

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Sky have only been good for the Sports with which they've supported. The Open coverage on Sky is WAY better than it was on BBC and they've plowed money into the sport and into the event, English football has changed dramatically since '92 with our league becoming one of the strongest and most watched in the world, the standard of Cricket coverage has transformed and they've enabled a sport like Darts to go from a game played by old fat drunk men in pubs to a legit, exciting sport with a massive following. Kids are playing less sport now, but I don't believe sport being behind a paywall isn't the reason, Technology as a whole has changed and that is the reason.

Also, the reason no-one watched the Scottish wasn't because it was behind a paywall, even if it was on BBC2 yesterday it still would have been watched by a minuscule amount of people because there was so much other exciting and more popular sport going on.
 

Lord Tyrion

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So hands up Paywall fans, who would continue to pay their money to Sky and Co if terrestrial had all sports available but produced to an inferior standard?
It depends how inferior. Genuinely. I would rather not pay the money but if it was similar to the BBC coverage of the US Open, or was it the PGA, a year or so ago, the dodgy streaming by BT of the CL final this year then I would keep paying for Sky. Rubbish coverage ruins the pleasure.

Which channels are going to show this sport free to air? Do they want it, even if it is for peanuts? There is lots of cheap sport out there up grabs but I don't see terrestial tv running over each other to snap it up. They may want one game, two games, a 3 week tournament but they don't want a full seasons worth. Even if they did what sport will take such a massive dip in revenue by giving it away for free? Take football, make it free to air, end Sky and BT paying for games. The players will be off because they will earn more elsewhere. Would everyone be happy with getting a vastly inferior spectacle, not getting past the group stage of the CL etc. Clubs wouldn't have it, fans wouldn't have it.
 
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Fish

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Everything in life has a cost and the BBC has a budget, so you have to accept that golf by comparison to football, cricket & tennis is a minority sport and will be much less an attraction to the masses, but with that said, whilst the likes of SKY are willing to pay the highest premium to have the coverage of the golf, to which those revenues hopefully find their way to the grassroots of the sport to some degree, terrestrial TV (BBC) won't and can't compete on all fronts. They (BBC) will have done their research and will have set out what they're willing to bid, and if that's not enough, so be it, walk away.

This is an old article but the premise is still the same, it's competition, SKY's income generated a 75% increase from it's investment in purchasing some specific sporting rights, that income will in turn help them to bid greater and secure other sports and offer coverage of other minority sports that the BBC wouldn't give the time of day for, so Rugby League, Netball, Ice Hockey and Hockey along with loads of other sports you wouldn't see on terrestrial TV can all be watched on SKY and revenue generated from them winning the rights to screen the big sports has allowed this.

The BBC is antiquated and draconian in what it does now, it's political stances are shameful, it's time the licence fee was abolished and it became a commercial enterprise, then it would have a more level playing field in being able to bid for sporting rights, but until that happens, don't expect anything to change.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2009/jul/21/bskyb-report-cricket-tv-rights
 
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Dan2501

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Think there'd be very few who would be willing to pay for something that's freely available, even if it was of an inferior standard. But realistically, that scenario would NEVER happen. Why would Sky pay millions for the rights to a sport if it was freely available still elsewhere? The reason they're willing to plough so much money into the production value and for the rights is to drive subscription sales. Take those away and the money goes, and that Sky money is keeping a lot of sports going.
 

IanM

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I get Sky, as we watch a lot of Sport on it.

Pay per view as a concept puzzles me. It must be viable, or they wouldn't do it. But boxing (for example) has disappeared from my awareness. I hear "names" on radio programmes, buy I have no idea who they are and wouldn't know them if I passed them in the street. Prior to this, Boxers were public figures. I wouldn't pay extra to watch it.

Golf needs to be careful to get the mix right. Sky blanket coverage is great, but need to keep The Open and the Masters (in particular) accessible.
 

HomerJSimpson

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The minority sports that have taken the sky money always chat about using the cash to grow the game etc, but I don't buy it.
It certainly buys nice administrators' salaries, but a game grows by getting a large chunk of people interested in it. Free to air telly is by far the best way of achieving this. If someone is keen to play, they'll find a way, but without mass exposure, all those 'funded initiatives' are mainly preaching to the coveted.
But the BBC in particular aren't interested. They dumped their open coverage a year before the contract expired. They are as culpable as Sky when they do have any sporting event on and suddenly hype it to the max and go all out with all the bells and whistles. Aside from home England games on ITV, FA Cup games (BBC) and racing each Saturday (also ITV) are there really that many sports outside the crown jewels that are regularly shown on terrestrial

As I said it boils down to consumer choice and so if people deem the NOW access as cost prohibitive they won't buy it and of course viewing figures then take the hit and naysayers say satellite TV is killing sport. In my mind its no different to paying to watch movies or a PPV boxing match. You decide what you can afford and want to watch and go from there. My biggest concern would be the cash being generated by TV deals never being used properly at the very grass roots level where these big finals and events galvanise interest. We hear all these stories of investment in kids sport and getting numbers up but has there really been a noticeable and sustained growth?
 

Fish

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The minority sports that have taken the sky money always chat about using the cash to grow the game etc, but I don't buy it.
Well Deloitte have done studies and have reports back from sporting bodies that significant growth has been achieved from selling the rights to the likes of SKY and that there money has helped them grow the game at both elite and grass-root levels.

But if the money the sporting bodies didn't get used to develop the game in all areas, that's not SKY's fault and quite soon that specific sport would soon implode as it would become less attractive with little or no or restricted investment, no doubt to everyone's satisfaction though as it would then return to terrestrial TV for everyone to watch a substandard and run down sport!
 

Swinglowandslow

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So hands up Paywall fans, who would continue to pay their money to Sky and Co if terrestrial had all sports available but produced to an inferior standard?
Not really a serious proposition. What such paywall company would pay large sums to broadcast a sporting programme which is available free on other channels? Without the exclusivity it doesn't make business sense.
As for sport on BBC, they seem to have no idea that many ( working, a lot of them) people are recording the action. But they still sometimes switch from BBC 1 to BBC 2, or vice versa , if the sport runs over the time they've scheduled for it.
And so the vital ending is lost! Great!
( I read of someone complain about this in the last week or so)
Only way I watch sport on BBC is if it is not available on Other channels.
 

Fish

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Think there'd be very few who would be willing to pay for something that's freely available, even if it was of an inferior standard. But realistically, that scenario would NEVER happen. Why would Sky pay millions for the rights to a sport if it was freely available still elsewhere? The reason they're willing to plough so much money into the production value and for the rights is to drive subscription sales. Take those away and the money goes, and that Sky money is keeping a lot of sports going.
It would never happen as it would fall well outside of the Competitions Act.
 

Orikoru

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Also boils down to money. I'm a fan of The Open but I don't see Sky Sports as good value. If they did a deal where you could access the golf channel for a month for a decent amount then I may well go for it. But the only option I can see is Now TV at 34 quid for a month so I suppose I'm making the choice to not bother. Shame as I remember part of my childhood involved watching the Open and that being one of the factors that got me interested in the sport.
Why do it for a month when you can do it for one week? I did it for the Ryder Cup, it was like £13. (Ok I just looked it up and it's gone up to £15 now.)
 

JamesR

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I'm a massive golf fan, and will pay for the opportunity to watch it. But I became a golf fan from watching it for free on the Beeb when I was a kid. If it had been unavailable for me to watch back then I may not have gotten into the game and become the mad, forum posting, live tournament attending, up all hours watching the west coast swing, obsessive I am today.

As such I believe there is a place for both, terrestrial & pay options.

Personally I believe that the powers that be should make it such that the home nation for each Open should be able to watch for free on terrestrial telly in that country.
 
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