Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Acast, Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

Champions League: ITV win... sort of



Well, when I say win, I mean they haven't lost quite as much. However, ITV will get first choice on the big Wednesday night Champions League game. They will also get the final and the Supercup final. The award must come as a tremendous relief to the commercial broadcaster up to a point. There is however, an interesting consequence of this plus another non-football related development that may, or may not, be significant.

Anyone who watches ITV will know that Wednesday is Coronation Street night. I don't know for certain but I'm pretty sure that the ITV Duty Office was not a pleasant place back in the days when ITV had live Champions League coverage on both Tuesday and Wednesday before Sky Sports waded in. As hard as it is for us football fans to accept, there are some programmes that regularly draw larger audiences than football and Corrie is most definitely one of them.

Therein lies the price that ITV must pay. When they had Champions Tuesday they had their midweek schedules sewn up: Footie on Tuesday, Corrie on Wednesday. No muss, no fuss. Going forward, ITV must now squeeze both on the same night, and pay extra for it.

Formula 1 fans will also be aware of another development. From next season, the BBC will be covering the F1 season after a 13 year absence. Now we are definitely moving into tin foil hat territory here but is there the slightest chance that some horse trading took place here? Unlikely I suppose. However the announcement that ITV were relinquishing their summer Sunday afternoon banker to the Beeb and picking up the Champions League rights on the same day is a bit of a coincidence...

Either way both parties should be happy. BBC get some premium sports content and ITV keep the Champions League, albeit at an awkward time. As for the fans? Well unless you've got Sky Sports you're missing out. In fact if you are a low income, Corrie loving, football fan you should be really pissed off right now.

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