Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rugby Concussion

I believe that most readers of this blog will believe that competition is a good thing. However, sometimes as a TV viewer it doesn't work out that way. especially if you're a big rugby fan, as I am.

Let me draw a picture of what the 2014/15 season will look like as I understand it at the moment for a Virgin Media subscriber in London.

The English Premiership will be on BT Vision - I've no idea if they will be available on Virgin or Sky, and if so, if they will be on premium channels, as they have been on Sky.

The French Top 14 will, presumably be on PTV, which took over from ESPN this year and costs a hefty £10 a year for some pretty marginal content.

The Rabobank 14 (or the old Celtic League plus a couple of Italian clubs) and domestic rugby in ireland, Wales and Scotland is spread over BBC Wales, S4C, BBC Alba and two Irish broadcasters - not a single one of which can be viewed on Virgin in London.

The Heineken Cup, if it goes ahead, will be split between BT Vision and Sky seemingly, but this is subject to a dispute.

All Southern Hemisphere rugby, including the portentously named The Rugby Championship, the Super 14 (or Super 60 as it will be by then if it continues to expand..) and South African and New Zealand domestic rugby will on Sky, with no way to watch Australian domestic rugby union.

The 2015 Rugby World Cup, to be held in England, will be televised by ITV.

Each of these broadcasters spread rights over four or five channels and then, annoyingly, stick games onto red button services that Virgin doesn't support.

Frankly, it's just getting to be too much for my brain to follow and I bet the Tivo box will be equally as confused, even if I do subscribe to every conceivable service know to man, online and on air.

The sports federations and regulatory bodies who might think that they're being clever slicing and dicing are, in this instance, being very disingenuous in my view.