March 30, 2007

Listen up viewer – we don't care about you

Two bits of news out this morning, both of which suggest the TV viewer is low down the list of priorities when it comes to deciding what to put on the box.

Firstly, the FA look set to award the rights to the FA Cup and England home games to ITV and Setanta. This despite the fact that the BBC’s coverage has been credited with making the Cup exciting again after several years of rubbish. Would ITV have to show the lower-league cup ties that the Beeb have loyally provided over the past few years? And if they’re paying so much more (£400m+) will they have any money left to make the coverage half-decent? The deal leaves the BBC with no live football outside of the Euro 2008 and the next World Cup, which with their range of talent must be pretty annoying. Gabby Logan – who moved from ITV recently – must be kicking herself.

Secondly, the BBC are mulling plans to show EastEnders five nights a week. I don’t think they understand why people have stopped watching the show over the years (it used to get around 16m people regularly, now it gets about half that). People stopped watching because it’s too big a commitment. Ask viewers what they really want and they’d probably ask for fewer episodes of higher quality. Even the show’s producers are against it, but the Beeb want to squeeze some more milk from the ratings cow. Laughably they’re undertaking a “feasibility test to assess the impact on the production schedule”, but don’t appear to be researching what the viewer actually wants.

Media 2, Viewer 0.

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Paddy

    Much as it pains me to say, you are 100% right on this one Doidge. The FA shouldn’t give away the rights, and the Beeb should make sure the Cup stays with them. We keep hearing how the BBC is committed to showing sport, yet they let this happen and want to put a failing soap on for an extra day a week.

    30 Mar 2007, 10:38

  2. Why does it pain you to say it? I think it just pains you to contribute to a blog, you old technophobe.

    I don’t think the BBC are much to blame for losing the rights – they’re not getting as much money from the licence fee any more, and ITV were willing to pay more than 30% more for the contract.

    Hopefully the £300m the Beeb spent on the last contract will stay within sport, meaning they might be able to poach something back. How about the Champions League or Formula One? Maybe some live cricket or golf from Sky? Just so long as it isn’t spent on bloody EastEnders instead…

    (Goes back to Law coursework)

    30 Mar 2007, 10:42

  3. Paul

    No more Ian Wright or Garth Crooks on England home internationals. It’s not all bad is it?

    30 Mar 2007, 14:00

  4. tetburyman

    So the Beeb didn’t relly lose because Gary and Alan were saying not very supportive things about our brave boys and their fearless leader General McLaren? You mean it all came down to money? Oh dear.

    Never mind perhaps Gary and Alan would make a great F1 commentary team and they could critise the other McLaren “I think Theo Walcott er…. I mean Lewis Hamilton has been brought on far too early in the second half er… lap 23”.

    Finally is it true to say that if Gabby is kicking herself she’s probably missing?

    09 Apr 2007, 07:46

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