Posts Tagged ‘England’
The Future Of Sports Broadcasting
On Saturday, 10 October 2009, a ground breaking event will take place in the world of football and internet broadcasting. Ukraine will play host to England in a FIFA world cup football qualifier, a match that signals the first but certainly not the last time that a sporting event of such prestige is to be broadcast via internet only.
A particular set of circumstances has led to this event coming to be available over the web only. As it were, Setanta, the Irish TV broadcaster who in 2009 declared bankruptcy, originally owned the broadcast rights to the game. With Setanta’s demise, the Ukrainian football association were unable to find an alternative broadcaster willing to purchase the TV broadcast rights. Therefore, taking an alternative route to monetize the game, they have decided to make it available over the net.
So what does this mean for televised sport in general? For one thing, this could very well signal the beginning of a new trend in the arena of sporting event rights: the internet only broadcast. Can an internet broadcaster go it alone and utilise a medium where viewers are still accustomed to accessing content for free? By the advance sale of viewing spots for this game , the answer is a resounding yes.
And if this event were to pass off without a hitch, it will lay the foundation for a plethora of events to follow. Of course television rights inject cash into a huge number of sporting competitions, but what is happening in today’s digital age is that more and more non official viewing links are appearing on the internet. If internet broadcast streams were to be made official and monetized, then revenue can remain within the sporting circles, thereby sustaining it.
Internet broadcasts are not yet mature enough to replace TV broadcasts, and not by a long shot. Various issues such as bandwidth availability, advertising and educating users in web technology are influencing factors. However, one can envisage that if broadcasters were to offer reliable and affordable pay per view services in the same way that iTunes has legalised a large portion of music downloads, then it is a good bet that we will see more and more events, which are normally associated with TV, embracing the internet and the fast growing online demographic.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup proved to be a tournament of firsts the competition was held on African soil for the first time whilst European Champions Spain clinched their maiden World Cup trophy.
The hosts South Africa kicked off the tournament with a 1 1 draw against Mexico who qualified from Group A with Uruguay as France, ravaged by infighting, finished bottom with just one point.
The United States claimed top spot in Group C above England as the one time champions struggled through their group games. The highlight moment came when England goalkeeper Robert Green blundered to let a weak Clint Dempsey shot trickle into the net.
In Group E, the Netherlands showed their intent by storming to three victories out of three in a group containing Japan, Denmark and Cameroon.
Underdogs New Zealand were unbeaten in Group F whilst Italy slumped to the bottom of the group with just two points but it was Paraguay and Slovakia who qualified.
Gelson Fernandes struck for Switzerland as they stunned Spain on the first match day in Group H but the European Champions recovered to top the group and set up a clash with neighbors Portugal in the second round.
Ghana held African hopes in the last 16 and they delighted the home continent with an extra time 2 1 victory against the United States. Asamoah Gyan was Ghana hero with a 93rd minute goal.
Germany were in impressive form beating England 4 1 as young attacker Thomas Muller scored a brace.
Wesley Sneijder was the Dutch hero as they overcame a stubborn Slovakian side to set up a quarter final clash with Brazil who comfortably beat South American rivals Chile 3 0.
Uruguay and Ghana served up a match full of drama and controversy. The African side dominated and went ahead at the end of the first half thanks to midfielder Sulley Muntari. Diego Forlan, who finished the tournament as joint top scorer, drew Uruguay level in the second half, which sent the match into extra time. In the last minute, Luis Suarez handled a goal bound header on the line which gave Gyan the chance to make history but he struck the crossbar with the resulting penalty. Uruguay won the penalty shoot out 4 2.
Argentina, boasting Barcelona star Lionel Messi, were thrashed 4 0 by Germany who had veteran striker Miroslav Klose in form as he bagged two goals.
Spain again sneaked through with a 1 0 victory against Paraguay thanks to another goal from Villa. The win marked the Mediterranean nation progression to their first semi final since 1950.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst gave the Netherlands an early lead over Uruguay with a 35 yard strike until Forlan leveled before half time. The Dutch pulled clear in the second half thanks to goals from Sneijder and Arjen Robben to progress to the final.
It was a dogged affair and in keeping with their run to the final, Spain again triumphed 1 0.
Nigel de Jong was lucky to not see red for a kung fu like kick on Xabi Alonso, whilst Dutch defender John Heitinga was sent off in the second period of extra time.
Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta scored the winning goal following a flowing passing move just five minutes before a penalty shoot out to secure their first ever World Cup trophy.
Britain may lose privileges after Fifa election attack
So angry are European federations that the FA chairman, David Bernstein, went against their overwhelming advice not to try and postpone last week’s Fifa election that they are considering pushing for Uefa to take over the automatic Fifa vice presidency that has been a British privilege for 63 years.
Although there has long been considerable resentment in Fifa about what is seen as an unnecessary anachronism, Europe has always been behind the so called automatic British seat, taken over by Northern Irishman Jim Boyce at last week’s Fifa Congress.
But Europe’s support is now eroding because of Bernstein, with several sources telling The IoS that Britain no longer deserves to have the position all to itself, a view apparently shared by Uefa’s president Michel Platini, who is likely to replace Sepp Blatter as head of Fifa in four years’ time. A number of associations approached Boyce straight after Bernstein’s intervention in Zurich and warned him the British seat has now been weakened. “They said I had a hell of a task,” Boyce said last night. “They felt I had a lot to live up to.”
It is understood that Boyce, who takes over from the former FA chairman Geoff Thompson, was not consulted prior to Bernstein’s intervention. While he refused to comment on the apparent European backlash, he admitted he had taken over the position at a time when it has never been under greater threat. “I don’t think any British vice president installed at Fifa has come in under the kind of circumstances that I have. Some people have asked me what I have let myself in for. There could be repercussions on a lot of fronts but I hope there won’t be.
“There have been in the past rumblings about the British privileges and it’s an onerous task. But I’ll do everything in my power to rebuild the bridges that have been broken. Damage has been done but it’s not irreparable.”
One of Boyce’s first tasks will be to seek a meeting with Argentina’s Julio Grondona, the most senior Fifa member after Blatter, who attacked England with such venom in Zurich after Bernstein’s show of defiance, and was supported by a handful of other speakers from Haiti to Cyprus. “I’ll try and speak to Mr Grondona at the World Cup draw in Rio in July,” said Boyce. “I don’t know him but I want to speak to him and others who said what they said about England. I don’t think his comments should have been made.”
Boyce has refused to criticise Bernstein’s stand and admits he was surprised that no other federations had the nerve to stand up publicly and back him. Sixteen associations lined up in favour of Bernstein and 17 more abstained. “I was shocked that no one else got up and appeared to support what David said,” Boyce said.
With the veteran Fifa powerbroker Jack Warner and Asian football chief Mohamed bin Hammam under investigation for their alleged roles in the biggest bribery scandal in Fifa history, Boyce added: “What I have said is that if certain individuals not just Bin Hammam and Warner are proven to be corrupt in any form, they shouldn’t be there.”
The power struggle within Concacaf heightened yesterday when the North and Central American federation provisionally banned their acting president, Lisle Austin of Barbados, for allegedly violating rules. He faces a Fifa hearing on 13 July. Concacaf did not specify details of the case.
The vice president, Alfredo Hawit of Honduras, has assumed Austin’s role. Austin himself had taken the interim post after long time president Jack Warner of Trinidad was suspended by Fifa last Sunday.
Fifa are investigating Warner and Bin Hammam for allegedly bribing Caribbean voters during Bin Hamman’s failed bid for the Fifa presidency. They deny the claims.