Sky coverage to benefit the clubs and football fans – but at what price?
Many readers will be aware that on Friday, the first of this season’s football matches between the two Sheffield clubs takes place at Bramall lane.
Wednesday won both games last year so with United looking for revenge it will hopefully be a decent match. If you haven’t got a ticket then the good news is that the match is live on Sky; this has also meant that kick-off has been moved to 7:45pm on Friday night.
Having the match at this time may not be such good news for businesses in the city. If previous derby days are anything to go by, it is likely that for safety reasons, police will request that many pubs in town stay closed and only pubs in the suburbs will be allowed to show the match. So pubs in town will lose out on their normal Friday night trade and people with no interest in football could potentially be caught out when they find themselves locked out of city centre venues.
This weekend also marks the start of fresher’s week for both Sheffield and Hallam university so as as well as the students returning to the city, some may be arriving here for the first time. Not a great first impression of the city centre.
How much do football clubs get from the broadcast of a match on Sky? It would be interesting to compare this figure to the amount that city centre venues estimate they would lose by being forced to stay shut on a Friday night. Don’t forget, this is also during a recession that is reportedly claiming upto 50 pubs a week.
A Saturday lunchtime kick-off may have been a better idea, with less chance for excessive pre-match drinking and plenty of cooling-down time before the pubs reopened later on. But it looks like this arrangement didn’t suit Sky and United/Wednesday’s business models – which are obviously of more importance than the business models of Sheffield city centre pubs.