Posted on Saturday, 8th January 2011 by Deco
Well it’s nearly been a full week since we went to Ipox and stuffed our friends from the west side of the city and to be honest, I’m still buzzing. Bill Leckie, Graham Spiers and Cough-Gate have gone away and it’s onto Berwick Rangers. Krys will give us a great big match preview tomorrow so I’m not going down that road, but both these games are pretty relevant at where I want to go with my article this week.
I want to talk about the state of CSC’s here in North America and what’s next for us Worldwide Tim Parade fans. I know Chris did a similar blog a few months ago, but here is my take on where we stand today and in the future.
Last Sunday proved to be a double celebration for me, as not only did we really do the unthinkable with eight, now nine (after listening to the CU/LB pod) first team players out of the line up, I also became the President of the Aurora CSC. I do fear for the longevity of my role though. CSC’s the world over are a dying breed. Whether it’s people not going to the club to watch, or not jumping on the bus from Donegal, London or further afield to Paradise, the bottom line is numbers are falling. Sure last week when we traveled to the ZOO, there wasn’t a seat in the house, and sure it was a bumper payday for the clubs here, but I wonder how many will be there today to see whoever this team is I’ve never heard of play in the cup? Premium Sports (Setanta) will still want their pound of flesh for the transmission of this game, and trust me when I say pound, I mean a lot of £££.
Speaking of Premium Sports, something else has popped its ugly head up to curse some of the CSC’s over here. They turned off the old reliable Satellite feed as of January 1st and switched to Internet TV. For us in Aurora it worked perfectly, but I know a lot of clubs that either don’t have Internet access or don’t have enough bandwidth to support the large amount of data being sent down. To be honest, I don’t know how many clubs or bar owners (particularly in Canada, where you can’t serve booze with 90% of the current kick off times) will be happy to folk out an extra $100 for a monthly high speed line, time will tell there I suppose?
So why are numbers dropping? Is it the weather?
For me, I go to the CSC rain, hail, sleet or snow (lots here in my neck of the woods).
Is it the kick off times SKY/ESPN are demanding?
Well, Richard McKenna in the San Francisco CSC will be there watching at 4:15am while Brian McAvoy is watching the same game at the Sydney City CSC at 11:15 that night!
Is it over saturation of the football market the world over?
Every single EPL (plus every other league) is broadcast live into my house at a cost of $15 a month, not the $20 a game I’m paying to watch Celtic at my CSC.
So where is the answer?
Time for the cat amongst the pigeons,
Just before I moved over to Canada from Dublin about 10 odd years ago, I saw a document that was signed off by senior executives from Sky TV for Uefa. Without boring you, the jest of it was;
There are five teams in the EPL that have a major draw for the TV audience, (Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle) It went on to say, that they wanted a big seven, (my words) Celtic and the Orc’s.
Uefa at the time were listening as they were getting a bit worried about Mr. Rupert Murdoch’s Sky TV and where things were going. Would seven top teams in the EPL destroy the other leagues in Europe?
Time passed and then a get out of jail card arrived for both Uefa and the SPL
Setanta Sports UK with all it’s fun fair arrived on the scene, (we’ll take on Sky, blah blah) well we know where that ended up, yes down the toilet (thanks, i still watch over here).
I suppose where I’m going with this is that 10/12 years ago Sky went to Uefa and said we want Celtic and the Orc’s in the EPL, a few things got in the way back then, but now? Setanta failed, ESPN is just a puppet for Mr. Murdoch, the scene is set.
How I see things panning out?
Sky Sports is in for the long hall, it’s really their bread and butter in the Sky empire. They paid, what, close on £500M for three years EPL rights. Setanta tried to jump into the pond and were eaten up. When the next EPL deal is up for renewal, there is in my opinion no one to contest them; I use the Setanta example, and ESPN is just a finger of Sky.
Sky TV will say, we’ll give you £450m (50m less than current deal) for the next three years as it stands, or £550/600M if the Celtic and rangers come down. That was the plan years ago.
So back to the CSC’s, there will always be the diehards, myself included, that will go, but the future really is the EPL. Dermot Desmond is waiting and so am I.
I hope this little blog lights a good fire under your arse and get onto the comments. I promise there is more to this story, but I’ll save that for the comments part.
(twitter @Auroraceltic and for podcast and website updates @TheLostBhoys)