29 August 2015

The joy of watching football on TV

The Guardian reports:

Competition makes everything cheaper and better. Except, it turns out, if you want to watch football in England. The real source of all this summer activity is the presence of two big beasts in the main marketplace for the first time. With the new TV rights deal kicking in BT Sport is now out there too, hounding Sky, ramping up revenues and, finally, offering a sense of choice. Except, for the captive consumer this isn’t really a proper choice at all, but an opportunity to spend the same and get less, or alternatively spend more and get the same.

This week BT Sport’s first raft of Champions League fixtures were inked into the schedule. Trying to work out how to get them on your TV while also keeping hold of Sky’s majority stake in the Premier League is, it turns out, a migrainously complicated business. There are brief moments of understanding. But before long the whole fragile edifice calluses [collapses?] in a rubble of signing-on fees, 10ft connection cables, set-top boxes, preferred customer packages until eventually you’re left weeping into the sofa cover, phone off the hook, very slowly and deliberately gouging out your own eardrums with a ratchet screwdriver. Competition, you see, makes everything better.

That's capitalism for you.


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