Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: A Pounds 160m TV Gamble That Relies on the Winning Ways of England

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: A Pounds 160m TV Gamble That Relies on the Winning Ways of England

Article excerpt

There are at least two people still chanting 'Engerland, Engerland!' with real passion long after everyone else has sobered up.

Like Sven himself, their jobs, if not actually their longevity, depended on the outcome.

When England could only manage a draw against Sweden, the lives of the BBC and ITV heads of sport must have flashed before their eyes. It would have been combined with the terrible vision of pounds 160m being flushed down the pan - pounds 80m a time on their two leg bet on television rights.

The story of their great folly, the big gamble that didn't come off, would not have taken long to write. Imagine that Argentina got lucky: a single deflected goal and England out of the World Cup. A last gasp effort against Nigeria simply wasn't enough.

The ratings at 7.30 in the morning were pretty disastrous with only a really hard-case audience bothering to watch Croatia against Ecuador over the croissants.

Only England could do the ratings business in the Far East time zone.

But the broadcasters had to keep showing all the games, whether or not anyone was interested.

Enormous presentational efforts were devoted to the Irish team to try to turn them into an audience draw. But when they failed to make it to the final eight, that was the end, apart from a flurry of interest in the final between Brazil and Spain.

Advertisers asked for their money back and Carlton and Granada plunged into a new ad recession as the consumer feel-good factor index dropped to a new low. …

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