The Tartan Tube

The place to discuss Scottish football
lbb
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The Tartan Tube

Post by lbb » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:44 am

Once again, Alex Salmond repeats his strange desire that watching Scotland on TV is some inalienable human right guaranteed by the United Nations charter.

"It is an extraordinary and unacceptable position - and it reveals a carelessness in the attitudes of broadcasters to their wider responsibilities." It took the head of BBC Sport in Scotland to point out that it merely reveals the competitive nature of the sports rights market.

"We are talking about maintaining a cohesive society able, collectively, to celebrate its national identity. Sporting success can be one catalyst for a united, confident, ambitious nation." Why does Salmond always sound like Kim Il-sung when he speaks like this?

Salmond affects to be a Hearts supporter. Shouldn't he be more concerned about the rape and plunder of that club than whether Scotland v whoever is live on STV? Or does the fact that a foreign crook has came in and flooded one of Scotland's oldest sporting institutions with third-rate Lithuanians not concern Salmond? Will he wait until Hearts have ruinous debts and no assets before acting?

the hibLOG
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Re: The Tartan Tube

Post by the hibLOG » Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:38 am

lbb wrote: Will he wait until Hearts have ruinous debts and no assets before acting?
Hey, he's late already. :)
Fraser

Burnie_man

Post by Burnie_man » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:13 pm

Salmond has every right to question why BBC can outbid other TV companies when it comes to England games, but doesn't even come close when bidding for the Scotland contract, or why STV don't even bother to bid at all.

I am a supporter of the SFA maximising it's revenue through the sale of it's TV rights to the highest bidder, whoever the winning bidder is, but it seems perverse that whilst an England home game is beamed live into home's all across Scotland via terrestrial, the Scotland game is only available on pay TV.

Let's leave politics aside and discuss the actual issue and not who is saying it.

lbb
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Re: The Tartan Tube

Post by lbb » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:08 pm

Well, I assume, for starters, the BBC in London has a bigger budget. I'd also question BBC Scotland' s use of its existing budget - £10m for a dedicated Gaelic channel which will be watched by a small minority of lunatics, for example. STV have no money and can barely sustain the football coverage they do show let alone hope to compete for extra rights - their autumn launch, as part of the ITV launch, featured no programmes from them whatsoever. So, the 'problem', such as it is, is no finances at STV, a questionable use of resources by the BBC and a highly competitive sports rights market for both. It's a problem for these companies, perhaps, but it's not a problem for the Scottish Executive and certainly not one that the Office of the First Minister should be taxing itself over.

The SFA have a legitimate right to earn as much money as they can for the good of the game and companies likes Setanta and Sky have a legitimate right to offer whatever they like for those games - and I assume neither will offer any amount they do not think they can recoup from subscribers. There is no 'right' to Scotland v Macedonia on BBC or STV - there never was such a 'right'. It's bogus. If Scotland matches were not covered at all then he may have a case but to simply complain about a commercial agreement between the SFA and TV companies is no complaint at all.

The logical endpoint of Salmond's argument is that certain SPL matches currently broadcast live by satellite companies - such as Rangers v Celtic and Hearts v Hibs, for example - should also be available on BBC or STV. The only way one could enforce Salmon's warped argument is to force the SFA to accept lower bids from BBC or STV in the name of the 'public good'. Logically, this would then extend to the SPL and the clubs. I see no reason why the SFA, the SPL and the clubs should be financially punished because the BBC or STV are unable to match the offers of Sky and Setanta.
the hibLOG wrote: Hey, he's late already. :)
I'm wondering when Hearts will give us back the entire stand again. The heady days of 'we don't need you to fill it' must seem a distant memory.

Burnie_man

Re: The Tartan Tube

Post by Burnie_man » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:38 pm

lbb wrote:It's a problem for these companies, perhaps, but it's not a problem for the Scottish Executive and certainly not one that the Office of the First Minister should be taxing itself over.
In the context of where he was making his speech, and in the context of the fact that many licence fee payers have made complaints over the matter, then it is a very valid subject for the First Minister to express an opinion on.
The SFA have a legitimate right to earn as much money as they can for the good of the game and companies likes Setanta and Sky have a legitimate right to offer whatever they like for those games - and I assume neither will offer any amount they do not think they can recoup from subscribers.
I agree.
There is no 'right' to Scotland v Macedonia on BBC or STV - there never was such a 'right'. It's bogus. If Scotland matches were not covered at all then he may have a case but to simply complain about a commercial agreement between the SFA and TV companies is no complaint at all.
Of course there is no right, but there are very valid questions as to why the BBC do not pull out the stops to secure the rights, as the BBC did to secure the rights to England games. The BBC generate 9% of their revenue from Scotland but only 3% is put into Scottish programme making, these are figures from the BBC themselves.
The only way one could enforce Salmon's warped argument is to force the SFA to accept lower bids from BBC or STV in the name of the 'public good'. Logically, this would then extend to the SPL and the clubs. I see no reason why the SFA, the SPL and the clubs should be financially punished because the BBC or STV are unable to match the offers of Sky and Setanta.
What's "warped" about his argument? and logically it does not extend to the SPL, you're just dragging them into it to try and back-up your point of view.

As I said, the SFA have the right to maximise it's revenue through the sale of it's TV rights to the highest bidder, but questions must be asked as to the BBC's role in bidding for these rights and the revenue set aside for such a bid. It's beyond question that the licence fee payer in Scotland is being short changed by the BBC, not just for football.

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Post by lbb » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:23 pm

I find it difficult to believe that Salmond struggles to get out of his office in the morning due to the barrage of letters he receives on this subject. Given i) the number of people interested in football in Scotland, ii) the number of people interested in the Scottish national football team and iii) the number of people likely to contact their MSP/First Minister about this issue then I suspect the numbers are miniscule. It's nothing to do with football rights and everything to do with his stated political strategy (even if you might argue that 'we should keep politics out of this').

The figures about revenue need to be viewed in the context of what Scottish people get from the BBC. An 'independent' Scottish Broadcasting Corporation - the stuff of Salmond's fantasies - would be unable to sustain the output and scale of the present BBC on purely Scottish revenue. It would be a skeleton operation. So, Scottish licence payers already have an indirect benefit of programming content paid for mainly by licence payers outwith this country. Any percentage of revenue that simply makes up the BBC Scotland budget does not tell the full story of the investment benefits Scottish viewers presently get.

There was a similar outcry when Setanta and Sky secured live SPL coverage. Indeed, every so often one can find a letter to the newspapers from some curmudgeon who objects to paying for live football. So it's not outwith the realms of possibility that Salmond will seek similar protectionism for 'important league matches'.

Burnie_man

Post by Burnie_man » Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:55 pm

lbb wrote:It's nothing to do with football rights and everything to do with his stated political strategy (even if you might argue that 'we should keep politics out of this').
Ach well, at least we know why you started the thread and entitled it "Tartan Tube". As I say, it's a very valid issue to highlight, but you can't see past who highlighted it or their politics.
The figures about revenue need to be viewed in the context of what Scottish people get from the BBC. An 'independent' Scottish Broadcasting Corporation - the stuff of Salmond's fantasies - would be unable to sustain the output and scale of the present BBC on purely Scottish revenue. It would be a skeleton operation. So, Scottish licence payers already have an indirect benefit of programming content paid for mainly by licence payers outwith this country. Any percentage of revenue that simply makes up the BBC Scotland budget does not tell the full story of the investment benefits Scottish viewers presently get.
9% of revenue, 3% invested in Scottish programming, from a compulsory "tax". That's really all that needs to be highlighted. The BBC themselves admit it's an issue that needs to be addressed. There was also an article in The Scotsman a few months back that showed that even the 3% figure is very dubious as some of the programming claimed to be made by BBC Scotland simply isn't. As for an "SBC" I wouldn't have any national broadcasting funded by the taxpayer.
There was a similar outcry when Setanta and Sky secured live SPL coverage. Indeed, every so often one can find a letter to the newspapers from some curmudgeon who objects to paying for live football. So it's not outwith the realms of possibility that Salmond will seek similar protectionism for 'important league matches'.
Hardly. Whilst all Scottish football fans, or at least I would hope a vast majority, take an avid interest in their national team, not everyone is interested in Rangers v Celtic or Hearts v Hibs. History shows that hardly any Scottish league football has been broadcast live on terrestrial TV for a sustained period, in contrast to Scottish internationals. So not much of a case for suggesting "protected status" for the SPL is a logical step.

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Post by Scottish » Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:46 pm

Is this a private fight or can anyone join in?

Given the identity of the speaker and the topic under discussion it’s impossible to ‘leave politics aside’ as Burnie_man suggests. I mean, this is a man who stood outside cinemas showing a cowboy film pretending to be history handing out recruitment leaflets!

My view it that Alex Salmond puts up a fundamentally dishonest and dangerous argument. This part of his speech particularly “When it comes to getting the national team back on to the screens of all our citizens, it can be done, and it must be done.”

How? As lbb correctly points out the only way to guarantee this is by preventing satellite channels from bidding and by instructing terrestrial channels to bid.

It’s dishonest in that any attempt to prevent a satellite channel from bidding for TV rights wouldn’t last five seconds in court. Alex Salmond has been accused of many things but I have never heard even his most vociferous detractors call him stupid and only a stupid person could honestly believe that the SFA could be prevented from selling their wares on the open market.

It’s dangerous in that it suggests the state should be in a position to dictate to terrestrial TV channels what they should broadcast and when.

The BBC argument is a red herring. Licence payers south of the border will see exactly the same number of World Cup qualifiers live on the BBC as those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – zero. ITV will show all England qualifiers for both the next World Cup and the 2012 Euro qualifiers (as well as the next four years FA Cup).

Of course it is very much in Alex Salmond’s interest to suggest that Scotland is somehow short-changed in comparison with England and even more so to claim that he can do something about it. The first is unproven and the second untrue. But he has got his headlines and managed to pick yet another subject to fight about so I suppose he’ll be happy.

There are wider issues here – principally concerning the ‘crown jewels’ of UK sport, including the Scottish Cup Final, which are currently reserved for terrestrial TV. I doubt if even Alex Salmond has the chutzpah to suggest extending these to cover Scotland v Macedonia. But the real question here is for how much longer these guarantees can be maintained. No British government can claim jurisdiction over the World Cup or the Olympic Games yet these are currently guaranteed to be shown on terrestrial TV.

All it would take is for one satellite broadcaster to make a legal challenge and the whole edifice would crumble. Not just the World Cup and the Olympics but everything else currently guaranteed. So far satellite companies have been compliant with this but the day will come –and soon - when they want a piece of the action. In fact it may not even be the broadcasters. UEFA are planning to go to the European Court on the issue for future European championships, citing the current situation whereby Switzerland v Turkey can’t be shown on Sky or Setanta in the UK. They accept the free-to-air argument for home nations involvement but once the dam is breached the flood will follow.

Yes, for generations raised on ‘free’ sport on TV it won’t seem at all fair. But happen it will. Some sports will see the benefits of maintaining a presence on terrestrial TV as tennis does at present. Some will simply sell to the highest bidder as cricket does.

The point is that it is up to the sporting authorities to decide what to do, no one else. You could also make the argument that sporting bodies were royally shafted for decades by terrestrial TV. I cite the instance in ‘Very Heaven’ of Grampian TV offering £25 per highlights programme to the SFL in 1967. That’s about £350 in today’s cash!

By stirring this up now Salmond may have inadvertently advanced the day when even the Scottish Cup Final may be taken off free-to-air TV.

Finally it’s not really a topic for this forum but as it has been raised here’s my twopence (or even bawbee's) worth on the argument about BBC Scotland and STV vis-à-vis their counterparts. I don’t think it’s a question of money, more of talent and application. BBC Wales doesn’t get a better deal than BBC Scotland yet the former goes out and makes or commissions programmes like Doctor Who and Life On Mars which are watched by millions, sold worldwide and lead to spin-offs and sequels like Torchwood and Ashes To Ashes. They are also responsible for successful and prestigious one-offs like Casanova, The Girl In The Café, the This Life update and Wide Sargasso Sea. By comparison BBC Scotland offers the shortbread tin Monarch of the Glen, the soapy Waterloo Road and River bloody City. For reasons best known to themselves they took on the National Lottery show and Film whatever-year-it-is. Okay, they can claim Still Game, the Culture Show and Balamory but it’s pretty pathetic when set against the Welsh output. And especially so when they have a brand spanking new HQ and the biggest BBC studio outside of London.

STV? They seem to think that Taggart is cutting edge 25 years on. As for Scotsport how they allow that guff to share the same name as the programme graced by Arthur Montford and Bob Crampsey is beyond me.

Burnie_man

Post by Burnie_man » Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:32 pm

scottish wrote:Given the identity of the speaker and the topic under discussion it’s impossible to ‘leave politics aside’ as Burnie_man suggests. I mean, this is a man who stood outside cinemas showing a cowboy film pretending to be history handing out recruitment leaflets!
Perhpas I should have said "petty politics". Generally Unionists will think Salmonds talking pish and Nationlists will think he's talking sense, that doesn't lead to objective debate. "The Tartan Tube" betrays the originals posters leanings. Let's just talk about the matter in hand.
It’s dangerous in that it suggests the state should be in a position to dictate to terrestrial TV channels what they should broadcast and when.
I think Salmond probably knows that, but it gets us all talking on the matter and makes the public service broadcaster squirm in their seat. The Scottish Government can't add Scotland games to a "reserve" list, but it can provoke a much needed debate (and not just in relation to football games).
The BBC argument is a red herring. Licence payers south of the border will see exactly the same number of World Cup qualifiers live on the BBC as those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – zero. ITV will show all England qualifiers for both the next World Cup and the 2012 Euro qualifiers (as well as the next four years FA Cup).
Given that the time periods covered by the SFA and the FA contacts do not co-incide, it's not a red herring. The BBC paid out £millions for the last contract which is coming to an end, they dont seem quite so keen when the SFA contract is up for renewal. I'm told that the BBC weren't even close the last time round.
Of course it is very much in Alex Salmond’s interest to suggest that Scotland is somehow short-changed in comparison with England and even more so to claim that he can do something about it. The first is unproven and the second untrue. But he has got his headlines and managed to pick yet another subject to fight about so I suppose he’ll be happy.
Strictly speaking the first may be unproven, but given that the BBC themselves acknowledge the fact that the amount of money spent on Scottish produced content is somewhat lacking, then we can assume that we're not exactly benefitting more than other areas of the UK.
There are wider issues here – principally concerning the ‘crown jewels’ of UK sport, including the Scottish Cup Final, which are currently reserved for terrestrial TV.
The Scottish Cup Final is also part of the "package" for sale, hence why Sky also broadcast it.
All it would take is for one satellite broadcaster to make a legal challenge and the whole edifice would crumble. Not just the World Cup and the Olympics but everything else currently guaranteed. So far satellite companies have been compliant with this but the day will come –and soon - when they want a piece of the action. In fact it may not even be the broadcasters. UEFA are planning to go to the European Court on the issue for future European championships, citing the current situation whereby Switzerland v Turkey can’t be shown on Sky or Setanta in the UK. They accept the free-to-air argument for home nations involvement but once the dam is breached the flood will follow.
I agree, the whole thing is going to come tumbling down sooner rather than later.
By stirring this up now Salmond may have inadvertently advanced the day when even the Scottish Cup Final may be taken off free-to-air TV.
.....or it may have the effect of raising the BBC from it's slumber.
Finally it’s not really a topic for this forum but as it has been raised here’s my twopence (or even bawbee's) worth on the argument about BBC Scotland and STV vis-à-vis their counterparts. I don’t think it’s a question of money, more of talent and application. BBC Wales doesn’t get a better deal than BBC Scotland yet the former goes out and makes or commissions programmes like Doctor Who and Life On Mars which are watched by millions, sold worldwide and lead to spin-offs and sequels like Torchwood and Ashes To Ashes. They are also responsible for successful and prestigious one-offs like Casanova, The Girl In The Café, the This Life update and Wide Sargasso Sea. By comparison BBC Scotland offers the shortbread tin Monarch of the Glen, the soapy Waterloo Road and River bloody City. For reasons best known to themselves they took on the National Lottery show and Film whatever-year-it-is. Okay, they can claim Still Game, the Culture Show and Balamory but it’s pretty pathetic when set against the Welsh output. And especially so when they have a brand spanking new HQ and the biggest BBC studio outside of London.

STV? They seem to think that Taggart is cutting edge 25 years on. As for Scotsport how they allow that guff to share the same name as the programme graced by Arthur Montford and Bob Crampsey is beyond me.
Is it any wonder my limited TV viewing is based around satellite channels?

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Post by lbb » Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:12 am

Burnie_man wrote:Ach well, at least we know why you started the thread and entitled it "Tartan Tube". As I say, it's a very valid issue to highlight, but you can't see past who highlighted it or their politics.
To clarify, Salmond has stated that he wants to create as much friction and raise as many gripes (real or imagined) as he can. I don't think it's untrue to say that his comments about sports broadcasting fit in with that strategy. To further clarify, I support the rights of sports bodies to seek the best deal possible and no politician (SNP, Conservative or Labour) should block that.

If the thread title offended you then I apologise.
Burnie_man wrote:9% of revenue, 3% invested in Scottish programming, from a compulsory "tax". That's really all that needs to be highlighted. The BBC themselves admit it's an issue that needs to be addressed. There was also an article in The Scotsman a few months back that showed that even the 3% figure is very dubious as some of the programming claimed to be made by BBC Scotland simply isn't. As for an "SBC" I wouldn't have any national broadcasting funded by the taxpayer.
I'm aware of the Scotsman article. It concentrated, as many people do, entirely on money spent within Scotland by BBC Scotland. It ignored the vast range of programming made available to Scottish viewers/listeners by the larger BBC budget. Ultimately, in my view, it's a short-sighted argument to complain about the absence of £40m or so from the BBC Scotland budget given the wide range of content offered by the BBC in Scotland. I think it's a dangerous road to go on.
Burnie_man wrote:Hardly. Whilst all Scottish football fans, or at least I would hope a vast majority, take an avid interest in their national team, not everyone is interested in Rangers v Celtic or Hearts v Hibs. History shows that hardly any Scottish league football has been broadcast live on terrestrial TV for a sustained period, in contrast to Scottish internationals. So not much of a case for suggesting "protected status" for the SPL is a logical step.
You might be right on this score. However, I do recall that after the title deciders of 2005 - Motherwell v Celtic and Hibs v Rangers - there were some complaints in certain newspapers that the drama had been broadcast to a 'minority' of satellite viewers when the whole country should have been watching it.

BBC Scotland and STV are poorly run, imo, and this is the main problem, not some cultural genocide imposed by London. I don't think Alex Salmond, or any politician, should be shoring these failures up.

Scottish articulates pretty much what I was trying to say but couldn't. It's a very interesting post.
scottish wrote:Finally it’s not really a topic for this forum but as it has been raised here’s my twopence (or even bawbee's) worth on the argument about BBC Scotland and STV vis-à-vis their counterparts. I don’t think it’s a question of money, more of talent and application. BBC Wales doesn’t get a better deal than BBC Scotland yet the former goes out and makes or commissions programmes like Doctor Who and Life On Mars which are watched by millions, sold worldwide and lead to spin-offs and sequels like Torchwood and Ashes To Ashes. They are also responsible for successful and prestigious one-offs like Casanova, The Girl In The Café, the This Life update and Wide Sargasso Sea. By comparison BBC Scotland offers the shortbread tin Monarch of the Glen, the soapy Waterloo Road and River bloody City. For reasons best known to themselves they took on the National Lottery show and Film whatever-year-it-is. Okay, they can claim Still Game, the Culture Show and Balamory but it’s pretty pathetic when set against the Welsh output. And especially so when they have a brand spanking new HQ and the biggest BBC studio outside of London.

STV? They seem to think that Taggart is cutting edge 25 years on. As for Scotsport how they allow that guff to share the same name as the programme graced by Arthur Montford and Bob Crampsey is beyond me.
I can only agree wholeheartedly with this. The present Scotsport is an abomination that makes you nostalgic for the 1979 ITV strike. Even when its presented with a surefire ratings winner - the Champions League involving the Old Firm - it messes it up, dumping Andy Walker in a broom cupboard with the studio having all the energy and vibrancy of a Sunday lunchtime Gaelic chat show. Switching between their coverage and Sky was alarming.

As I said, Scottish Television recently had an autumn launch in which it launched no programmes. A criminal neglect that should have saw heads roll - starting with Bobby Hain, the ex-DJ now STV MD. BBC Scotland is slightly better but is run by a West End Mafia and relies too much on certain 'faces' that are in with the bricks. Its comedy output in the 1980's and 1990's, for example, relied heavily on the 'Naked Video' team and its various offshoots. Now it seems no comedy gets made unless Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill approve - 'Ford Kiernan stars as Greg Hemphill playing Karen Dunbar in the hilarious new comedy Get It Round Ye Ya Bam, from Effingee Productions'. This is a cultural problem in these two stations that wouldn't go away with legislation. Maybe the Scottish Establishment, being so small, is naturally cliquey and parochial.

Little wonder that someone like Elaine C Smith - who can't even get arrested nowadays - is a cheerleader for Salmond's broadcasting commission. The 'dramatic fall' in network commissions which Salmond laments, and which he blamed on London bias, is due entirely to a dramatic fall in artistic, creative and programming standards in Scotland. What is exceptionally annoying is that this drive to lower standards, shut ourselves off and provide guaranteed commissions for the talentless and unemployable is being presented as a broadening of Scottish horizons and culture.

Burnie_man

Post by Burnie_man » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:41 am

lbb wrote: Ultimately, in my view, it's a short-sighted argument to complain about the absence of £40m or so from the BBC Scotland budget given the wide range of content offered by the BBC in Scotland.
Perhaps, but when BBC Scotland abjectly fail to table a competitive bid for the SFA rights package, 1/10th of £40m goes a very long way.
I can only agree wholeheartedly with this. The present Scotsport is an abomination that makes you nostalgic for the 1979 ITV strike.
Scotsport is directly responsible for me taking out a Setanta subscription (are they in cahoots?) let's face it, the alternative of a Wednesday night 11.00pm "highlights" show on the BBC is a complete waste of time and money.

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Post by Scottish » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:50 pm

Burnie_man wrote: Perhpas I should have said "petty politics". Generally Unionists will think Salmonds talking pish and Nationlists will think he's talking sense, that doesn't lead to objective debate.
Knowingly using fundamentally dishonest arguments to advance a case certainly doesn’t lead to objective debate
Burnie_man wrote: I think Salmond probably knows that, but it gets us all talking on the matter and makes the public service broadcaster squirm in their seat. The Scottish Government can't add Scotland games to a "reserve" list, but it can provoke a much needed debate (and not just in relation to football games).
Was that the object of the exercise then? You accept it’s a dishonest and dangerous road to go down. You think Alex Salmond knows that too. But you think it’s okay to do so because it makes a few suits at the BBC “squirm?” If, as you suggest, Alex Salmond is aware that he cannot force broadcasters to bend to his will, why does he say “it can be done and it must be done?” Anyway, what is he on about? When exactly was this golden age of live football? How many home qualifiers were shown live before the advent of satellite TV? He is peddling a bigger myth than Braveheart and that takes some doing.
Burnie_man wrote: Given that the time periods covered by the SFA and the FA contacts do not co-incide, it's not a red herring. The BBC paid out £millions for the last contract which is coming to an end, they dont seem quite so keen when the SFA contract is up for renewal. I'm told that the BBC weren't even close the last time round.
Yes it is a red herring. The bulk of the criticism is aimed at the BBC. Yet STV gets off lightly despite it being ITV that won the contract for live England matches! I have no idea what the BBC bidding figure was but I do know that at least BBC Scotland is prepared to spend money on live football. Perhaps a word of praise might have been in order for their showing live UEFA Cup games involving Aberdeen and Rangers – and their availability throughout the UK at no extra cost for those with satellite dishes. No English teams have been shown live on the BBC in this competition so far this season. Isn’t it unfair that supporters of Everton or Spurs living in Scotland can’t see their games on the BBC while fans of Rangers and Aberdeen in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can see their clubs in action? Which licence-payers are being short-changed here? ITV have shown English matches but again STV is again conspicuous by its absence.
Burnie_man wrote: Strictly speaking the first may be unproven, but given that the BBC themselves acknowledge the fact that the amount of money spent on Scottish produced content is somewhat lacking, then we can assume that we're not exactly benefitting more than other areas of the UK.
I was referring to Salmond’s position in general not the BBC in particular. But if you want a glimpse of what broadcasting might be like in his ideal world, have a look at the RTE schedules for any given day of the week. Not, I think, the most enticing of prospects.
Burnie_man wrote:The Scottish Cup Final is also part of the "package" for sale, hence why Sky also broadcast it.
As is the FA Cup Final. Absolutely no difference.
Burnie_man wrote:I agree, the whole thing is going to come tumbling down sooner rather than later.
Not exactly the right moment to start building an extension then?
Burnie_man wrote:.....or it may have the effect of raising the BBC from it's slumber.
More likely the former but again, this obsession with the BBC and no mention of STV. Odd, that the one broadcaster that at least makes an effort to show live football is the one castigated
Burnie_man wrote:Is it any wonder my limited TV viewing is based around satellite channels?
That is your choice. And that raises another issue, that of one man’s meat being another’s poison. The BBC was inundated with complaints about their live sporting coverage last weekend. Not because there was too little but because there was too much. It’s not every licence payer who wants televised sport. And given their performances this season maybe Alex Salmond would have been better advised to launch a campaign to take the Scotland rugby XV OFF our screens

Burnie_man

Post by Burnie_man » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:48 pm

scottish wrote:Knowingly using fundamentally dishonest arguments to advance a case certainly doesn’t lead to objective debate
Hardly dishonest, but when have you ever heard any politician given us it straight?
Was that the object of the exercise then? You accept it’s a dishonest and dangerous road to go down. You think Alex Salmond knows that too. But you think it’s okay to do so because it makes a few suits at the BBC “squirm?” If, as you suggest, Alex Salmond is aware that he cannot force broadcasters to bend to his will, why does he say “it can be done and it must be done?”
I didn't accept it was dishonest, but stirring debate on the matter. Something which was sadly lacking under the previous administration. We're all discussing it.
Anyway, what is he on about? When exactly was this golden age of live football? How many home qualifiers were shown live before the advent of satellite TV? He is peddling a bigger myth than Braveheart and that takes some doing.
He is more reffering to the fact that England games are show on free to air UK wide, but Scotland games are not.
Yes it is a red herring. The bulk of the criticism is aimed at the BBC. Yet STV gets off lightly despite it being ITV that won the contract for live England matches!
I am not obliged to pay £135.50 for STV. That's why the BBC, as a public service broadcaster, attracts greater criticism than a commerical channel.
I have no idea what the BBC bidding figure was but I do know that at least BBC Scotland is prepared to spend money on live football. Perhaps a word of praise might have been in order for their showing live UEFA Cup games involving Aberdeen and Rangers
I would have been more surprised if they had not shown these games live. One way to look at it is that it could be a reaction to criticism received over the lack of live Scotland away games for the coming campaign? Maybe, maybe not, but it's a possibility.
but again STV is again conspicuous by its absence.
STV is an organisation that treats football woefully, note the dropping of it's Junior Cup Final (which Setanta is now interested in) and First Division coverage and the shambles that is Scotsport, but again no money comes out of my pocket to subsidise it.
But if you want a glimpse of what broadcasting might be like in his ideal world, have a look at the RTE schedules for any given day of the week. Not, I think, the most enticing of prospects.
I dont care what Salmond's ideal world is, I would like to see a fair deal for the licence fee payer residing north of the border, not too much to ask and thankfully the BBC themselves see it as a pressing issue.
Not exactly the right moment to start building an extension then?
I agree, but it's got us all talking about it.
More likely the former but again, this obsession with the BBC and no mention of STV. Odd, that the one broadcaster that at least makes an effort to show live football is the one castigated
Again, STV is not a public service broadcaster, but that is not to say that STV don't deserve criticism as well.
That is your choice. And that raises another issue, that of one man’s meat being another’s poison. The BBC was inundated with complaints about their live sporting coverage last weekend. Not because there was too little but because there was too much. It’s not every licence payer who wants televised sport. And given their performances this season maybe Alex Salmond would have been better advised to launch a campaign to take the Scotland rugby XV OFF our screens
You wont have any complaints from me regarding egg chasing.

Maybe public debates such as these will stir BBC Scotland into making a competitive bid come the 2010 renewal, heck maybe even STV will be shamed into it. We certainly deserve a better deal that we are getting at present from our terrestrial channels.

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Post by Scottish » Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:53 pm

Let me see. You accept that it’s up to the SFA to decide which channel/s they sell TV rights to. You accept that Alex Salmond has no authority to change this. You accept that would be a dangerous road to travel. You even think Salmond himself knows this. Yet you don’t think this statement “When it comes to getting the national team back on to the screens of all our citizens, it can be done, and it must be done” is dishonest as well as dangerous?

I ask again, when was this golden age of live TV coverage of Scotland home qualifiers? How many home qualifiers were shown live before the advent of satellite TV?

You refer a lot to the licence fee. There are things EVERYBODY objects to with regard to the licence fee. I don’t like not being able to access BBC content on my laptop while I’m abroad for instance, while any non licence-paying tourist in the UK can watch BBC programmes on their hotel room TV or on their laptop via BBC iPlayer.

No doubt those without computers resent the ability of those online to access the vast resources of the BBC website.

And for every person who thinks BBC Scotland should use public money to outbid Sky for football matches there’ll be another who reckons it’s a waste of cash.

Everyone thinks they get a raw deal at some time or other. Lbb pointed out earlier the amount of money spent on Gaelic programmes. But I can guarantee if that money was put into bids for football matches there would be an almighty outcry. Led no doubt by Alex Salmond.

As for England games being shown free-to-air, again this is a commercial decision. The BBC in England won the last contract. ITV won the next one. That’s the way it goes. I’m pretty sure if there wasn’t a decent audience for England matches on BBC Scotland or STV they’d soon be dropped from the schedules.

BTW the same situation applies in Wales and Northern Ireland but I don’t hear similar noises coming out of Cardiff and Belfast about this. Maybe Salmond’s counterparts don’t have as much spare time on their hands. Or maybe they realise it’s an issue for sporting bodies and TV channels, not for politicians.

Burnie_man

Post by Burnie_man » Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:23 pm

scottish wrote:Let me see. You accept that it’s up to the SFA to decide which channel/s they sell TV rights to. You accept that Alex Salmond has no authority to change this. You accept that would be a dangerous road to travel. You even think Salmond himself knows this. Yet you don’t think this statement “When it comes to getting the national team back on to the screens of all our citizens, it can be done, and it must be done” is dishonest as well as dangerous?
Nope. That's just being melodramatic.
I ask again, when was this golden age of live TV coverage of Scotland home qualifiers? How many home qualifiers were shown live before the advent of satellite TV?
What relevance is that? I (that's me, not Salmond) am asking why the BBC can bid succesfully for English and FA Cup games, but BBC Scotland are abject failures in this regard. The answer is probably lack of funding from London.
You refer a lot to the licence fee. There are things EVERYBODY objects to with regard to the licence fee.
Goes with the territory when it's a compulsory tax.
And for every person who thinks BBC Scotland should use public money to outbid Sky for football matches there’ll be another who reckons it’s a waste of cash.
As I said, that goes with the territory, but given that we're talking about the country's national sporting pastime, then there are legitimate reasons why the public service broacaster should make a realistic effort to televise Scotland games.
As for England games being shown free-to-air, again this is a commercial decision. The BBC in England won the last contract. ITV won the next one. That’s the way it goes. I’m pretty sure if there wasn’t a decent audience for England matches on BBC Scotland or STV they’d soon be dropped from the schedules.
I dont want England matches dropped from our schedules, I'm sure there's a fair amount of English football fans that reside north of the border who want to watch the games. As for commercial decisions, as I said I'm lead to believe BBC Scotland haven't come close to outbidding Sky, token bidding perhaps? Did they even try to secure the "away" contract that Setanta purchased for 2008/2010? I heard an interview with a BBC Scotland sport chappie not long after the Setanta announcement and it was clear they didn't even bid, caught on the hop so to speak.
BTW the same situation applies in Wales and Northern Ireland but I don’t hear similar noises coming out of Cardiff and Belfast about this. Maybe Salmond’s counterparts don’t have as much spare time on their hands. Or maybe they realise it’s an issue for sporting bodies and TV channels, not for politicians.
Does that make Salmond wrong, or does it make the politicians in Wales and N.Ireland wrong? Depends which way you look at it I suppose.

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