Tofu eating wokerati
NSC Licker Extraordinaire
- Jul 23, 2003
I must admit the question and my answer are from the perspective of a person (me) who believes that football is best watched live at a ground, ideally with some friends and family that you've also socialised with before or after or both. Having Man U v Arsenal (for example) on the telly at the same time as Brighton, when we were lower league, would not have stopped me going to Withdean where like many others I had a season ticket. Even those cup games against the likes of Northwich or Woking - far more interesting to me to go to that game live than sit in a pub with a load of replica shirted Trevors who couldn't find Old Trafford on a map. And I don't believe for a second that those sorts are turning up week in, week out at Eastbourne Borough or Harrogate or Staines Town.The 3pm blackout should definitely remain imo
There will always be an element who will watch their team via a dodgy stream, but they aren't the ones likely going to non or lower league 3pm games on a Saturday, however if it were make easy to watch (ie through your existing sports package with someone like Sky, and also available to watch in a pub) How many more people beyond the streamers will suddenly watch that instead of heading to see their local team play? - How many Brighton fans would still go to those other teams games if they could easily watch our game on TV instead, when before it wasn't an option?
How many people (faiweather fans, or casual attendees) may decide to stay at home and watch the 'big' match being shown at 3pm on a Saturday (well TV are unlikely to pick something like Burnely vs Luton are they, but instead a more glamorous games to broadcast in that slot) soand how many would still go to watch their local side instead regardless? - and it's those extra supporters that decide to watch the 3pm agmes that the local / smaller sides would miss out on.
Now we are in the PL, there is less reliance on gate money to help keep the club going thanks to broadcasting deals, sponsorship, etc... so losing the 3pm blackout will be less detrimental to a club like ours. Add in most our games are sell outs, and are all ticket affairs, brought in advance.
If we were still in League 2, fighting relegation and trying desperately to stay in business, would those who are keen to see these extra games shown at 3pm still feel the same way when it could have spelled the end of our club? Or woud it be seen as another example of greed, and lining their own pockets at the expense of clubs further down the pyramid? (a bit like the ill-fated super league idea)
How many of those who did attend games when we were in that position, (say last few seasons at the Goldstone, or when we were at Withdean), would have given it a miss if there was a 'decent' match being broadcast at the same time, something they could have watched from the comfort of home or in a pub with a pint in hand instead?
We've had some in the past that didn't make it to our games even though they had already got advance tickets, and that number increased when our games were on tv because they simply decided that didn't want to make the journey / face bad weather / or simply couldn't be bothered to leave the house (but for broadcast games they knew they could still see the match on tv, which made it even easier to miss it live) - so again how many, especially those without advance tickets for lower league / non league clubs games would decide not to go if the blackout was removed?
Even a smallish drop in gate receipts (say 100 less attending) will have a far more significant impact on clubs that rely heavily on gate reciepts for a lot of their income and to cover operating costs (your lower league and non league teams) and they will be the ones who are therefore more likely to go out of business as a result, leaving a big hole in their community and all so (mainly) PL clubs can add a few more quid to their coffers
Sure, non-league may initially rely on some casual visitors but they need to be converting those people to regulars with their experience; beer on the terrace, access to players, good food and a chance to get to know local friends. And, to some extent these clubs lose casuals to in person attendance at big matches. For example, I sometimes go to Worthing with a mate who lives there and my son will go to Mile Oak now and again, but not on a day when the Albion have a game, including aways which we're either at or finding some kind of way to keep up with it
And there's actual statistical evidence for this. When the ban came in there was no streaming at all and very little coverage abroad. Now there are streams all over the place and non league attendances are growing. Worthing have had over 1000 fairly recently.
IMO there are two types of fan. Those who vastly prefer going to games in person (most people on NSC) and those who just watch Premier League football on TV. I only posted what I did and voted how I did because I don't actually believe the second group are going to lower / non league football. If you do then of course voting to keep it is correct - no one wants to kill small clubs, especially Brighton fans.