Whether or not you’re bothered by England friendlies, qualifiers for international tournaments are, for me, still something I want to tune in for.
Perhaps it was foolish of me to assume that our qualifier against Wales was going to be on BBC, without ever actually checking. But I remember a time, not so long ago, that you’d never actually be asking yourself the question “is it going to be on BBC or Sky?”.
I planned my whole day around it, keeping myself and the missus happy by fitting in the game between lunch and a trip to Bluewater. She didn’t really want to go to Bluewater but I persuaded her by letting her watch the football first.
Finished lunch, sat down in time for the national anthems. BBC1, tuned in, and I’m greeted with Chris Hoy winning silver, followed closely by The Boat Race.
I wouldn’t have been that bothered if it was a friendly but, perhaps naively, I still expect every competitive England game to be available to everyone*. People talk so much about watching the national side losing it’s appeal; is it any wonder when it’s taken away from people who don’t have or can’t afford Sky (or refuse to line Murdoch’s pockets).
And that’s why I wish I lived in Greece. Because there, it was broadcast live, on terrestrial television.
What are your thoughts on the BBC/Sky/National team debate….should we be entitled to be able to see our national side play on TV for free?
*Disclaimer: Unless you don’t pay your TV license.