Hello all –
So, first thing – let’s assess what ‘free’ live football we can expect to see this season, and how that may change next season.
First – UEFA Champions League. Currently, ITV can show 18 live games a season but from the 2015/16 season rights go exclusively to BT. BT is obliged to show one game of each British team, plus the final – so at a minimum that’s 5 games, whether or not we will see more than that we’ll have to wait and see.
Second – FA Cup. BBC has the rights again from this season, sharing with BT. BBC will screen 16 live games, that’s including any replays along the way.
Europa League next – ITV can currently show 29 live games a season, but next season it’s all BT’s to show. Same arrangement as Champions League – BT have to show one game for each British club plus the final, so a minimum of four games.
There’s also approximately eight England internationals/friendlies that will be screened live on ITV each year – so for this season I make that 71 games? That’s not bad for FREE. And that’s the key word… FREE. Yes, Sky and BT have loads more games, but they come at a cost… Although next year, that figure could drop to 33 games at its lowest, we’ll have to see…
Listening to Pick of the Pops with Tony Blackburn – great show as always and pleased to hear Cliff Richard being played, I was worried BBC4 would edit TOTP ’79 in a few weeks when it returns (Cliff will be number 1 with ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore’) but thankfully it looks like his music can be played – it’s the right decision, Cliff hasn’t even been charged, remember that people!
In more news, Pro12 Rugby starts Friday on BBC Alba and BBC Wales – but not on Red Button, they’re showing Eastenders Extra. I’ve tweeted BBC Red Button asking if they can show coverage delayed, rather than not at all – I’ll keep you posted. Eastenders Extra seems to be on all Friday night, this could easily be trimmed for the rugby.
Finally, CBS Action will start on Freeview! Great news – brilliant channel on Sky which shows ‘Star Trek the Next Generation’, ‘NCIS’, ‘Walker Texas Ranger’ and loads more. Placeholder currently on Channel 90 at the moment.