Posts Tagged ‘setanta’
So the day that the creators of ukrainevengland.com have been waiting for has arrived. I like to think that some plucky entrepeneur snapped up the url years ago in the dim hope that the footballing stars would align to throw forth not only this fixture but also circumstances in all our domestic televison broadcasters snubbed it like the last saliva-imbued sip of a Coke can.
Naturally it seems strange that a competitive England international should not be transmitted live onto our screens, but we should remember that originally the game was to be shown on the recently deceased Setanta. Which most people didn’t subscribe to anyway. And those who did were left with the same nauseous feeling of having digested something really rubbish that people do when they leave Subway.
One potentially interesting facet of today’s online coverage is the recruitment of Sven-Goran Eriksson as a studio guest. On the face of it, a man who liked to take five minutes to say ‘well’ during his press conferences as England manager may not be best suited to the world of punditry, but sometimes commentators can transcend the reputations of their previous careers. Think Geoffrey Boycott. Or Alan Hansen.
Maybe it’s worth the cash after all.
So a bizarre tour ends in the strangest way possible: England win the one-day series. A long winter of discontent is over and the players can take a rest. I think we all need one. And Kevin Pietersen can let his tether go a little slack for a short while. A very short while.
Because we are only a tiny way through an increasingly acromegalous calendar for KP and his colleagues. It begins in South Africa as the curtain goes up on the IPL extravaganza, followed by a reunion in May with the West Indians, and then the World Twenty20 Championship and then of course the small trifle of an Ashes summer. It’s a sustained period of cricket that is almost as long as that last sentence.
Of course it’s all a tantalising prospect for the hardened cricket fan – with the added bonus that the Setanta subscription will start paying for itself again. I’m a big follower of the Chennai Super Kings (if only because it is the only cricket team I can think of that is named after a cigarette).
I just worry that come the 20th September and the last of seven one-day internationals against the Australians, I will be found rocking in the corner of my sitting room, dribbling and speaking in tongues. You can certainly play too much cricket, but can you watch too much?
My tickets are already bought for the New Year’s Test in Cape Town next winter. We’ll certainly know then if my eyes were too big for an already distended belly. I’m guessing not.
I watch a lot of Sky Sports News. It’s a staple ‘go to’ channel when you can’t find anything on the thousand or so other stations and you’ve drained your Hollyoaks surplus on SkyPlus. Just flick on and hook yourself up to a steady saline drip of sporting updates. The comely mob of presenters will regurgitate info for you like a mother cuckoo to an expectant nest of chicks. You’ll end up with transfer gossip coming out of your nostrils and vomiting up a league table or two.
So I was intrigued when I found out that Setanta had launched their own rolling news channel as part of their burgeoning sports coverage.
And like so much on Setanta, it’s very similar to Sky Sports. Just slightly worse.
Maybe the cunning creatives at Setanta HQ hit upon a formula: make it look the same as Sky Sports, but make it look different. At the same time.
So the clever little buggers decided to mirror image the graphic set-up on Sky: the info box is on the left! It’s the same but different. A brave new world of rolling sports news. Or not. It actually looks a like poorly-formatted PowerPoint presentation.
They also realised that nothing says ‘up-to-minute sports journalism’ than employing a gaggle of harassed-looking operatives mincing around in the background pointing at computers and pretending they’re plucking the latest scoops from around the sportsglobe. But I have a faint suspicion that on Setanta that it’s actually the cleaners in to scrub the coffee circles off the MDF work surfaces.
Final Score created the blueprint for the live sports updates. Now orphaned by the death of Grandstand, Final Score survives on BBC1 and in the alien surroundings of the ‘red button’. It has lost it’s identity though, taking on the same graphical features as Sky Sports News. Complete with an unimaginitive info box on the right. At least Setanta tried.
I’d like to see Final Score go retro. It worked for Monster Munch. Get Gerald Sinstadt on the phone. Find Des. And someone search the BBC warehouse to dust off the old videprinter. Plug it in and make it burble and warble like a typewriter with guff issues.
It’s a better sound than Garth Crooks.