Are we going to see more of the Gulls...
...on TV next season ? The Setanta satellite TV station has signed a new contract to screen live games from the Blue Square Premier League. In total Setanta will show 60 BSPL games; nine Setanta Cup games and ten play-off games; the only downside seems to be that the live matches will be played on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In a challenge to the existing Sky Sports monopoly, Setanta will also be introducing some "Big Brother" style interaction to their programmes. As was recently explained to the Daily Express (9-Jun-2007) during a dummy run in the recent Conference North and South play-off finals, the coverage included player intervals on arrival at the stadium, during the pre-match warm-up and on their way out of the tunnel to start the match.
Camera crews filmed inside the dressing rooms before and during the build-up viewers could see pictures of the team talk, but could not hear what was being said. Pitchside reporters grabbed short interviews with the managers during the game and representatives of the clubs were shown key incidents on a plasma screen at half-time and asked to give their opinion.
It promises to be a fascinating insight into the pre-match activities and will doubtless attract interest from supporters of all clubs to see this fresh approach to broadcasting. The downsides obviously are that there will be more mid-week games; and with the prospect of smaller attendances anyway it will be interesting to see how it will impact on the number of spectators in the ground. On a note of caution, it is also to be hoped that Setanta have done their homework in their ambitious plans for their TV coverage and that they do not repeat the fiasco that was ITV Digital.