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  1. #1
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    TV Coverage in Previous Finals

    Gary Imlach's excellent biography of his dad has a fascinating chapter on the 1958 World Cup which shows that the Scottish FA refused to broadcast live midweek games due to fear they would affect domestic attendances. This struck me as curious because I didn't know that Scotland had domestic football in June 1958 but also because it suggests that there wasn't the media interest in the national team that we associate with the 1974-90 World Cups.

    This leads me to my main query which is how long it took for the World Cup to become a fully televised event. I am aware, of course, that simultaneous kick-offs meant that many important games went unseen all the way up to Mexico 86 (when the Beeb would incredibly sometimes only show the 2nd half). Was it the threat of competition of Sky for TV rights that caused BBC and ITV to finally show all the games they could live? Was it the poor image of football in the 80s that allowed them to deprive viewers of games?

    What's your most annoying memory of missing a game you wanted to see because the Beeb and ITV decided it wasn't important enough to screen?

  2. #2
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    It wasn't just Scotland.

    Each day's group matches in Sweden (other than those of the host country) started at the same time, and the European Broadcasting Union only had the facilities to broadcast one of them. The 54 World Cup in Switzerland was the first to be broadcast, and had a similar set up.

    Interestingly, the reason why Sweden's matches were on a different schedule was to allow Swedes to attend other matches without missing their own team's games.

    The conflict question is puzzling, though, as the Scottish First Division played its last matches almost a month before things started in Sweden.

  3. #3
    Rogin the Armchair fan's Avatar
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    Maybe he was referring to the qualifiers?

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    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    On checking, Imlach says it was the junior FA that objected and they do go into June. Imlach suggests the Scots exceeded their authority by not honouring the Eurovision TV schedule.

  5. #5
    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
    This leads me to my main query which is how long it took for the World Cup to become a fully televised event. I am aware, of course, that simultaneous kick-offs meant that many important games went unseen all the way up to Mexico 86 (when the Beeb would incredibly sometimes only show the 2nd half). Was it the threat of competition of Sky for TV rights that caused BBC and ITV to finally show all the games they could live? Was it the poor image of football in the 80s that allowed them to deprive viewers of games?

    What's your most annoying memory of missing a game you wanted to see because the Beeb and ITV decided it wasn't important enough to screen?
    I can remember several matches from Italia '90 that were inexplicably ignored by the terrestrials, but simultaneous kick-offs continued to 1994, as I recall. I could be wrong, but the US tournament was (I think) the only World Cup where a third broadcaster - Eurosport - had rights to live matches. I'd just invested in a satellite dish, so was fairly happy to pick up group matches not broadcast by the Beeb or ITV: one such was Argentina's demolition of Greece - ie, the match in which Diego betrayed his preferred pre-match rituals.

    Agree that the BBC's 'second half live' phenomenon of 1986 was highly irritating: they'd been doing this with some of their live Friday night league matches for the previous season or so as well.

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    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    West Germany v Yugoslavia in 1990 kicked off at the same time as Brazil v Sweden, which seems absolutely crazy.

  7. #7
    I believe Italia 90 was also covered by Eurosport as I had got our sky dish installed the day of the opening match.

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    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    A decent blog on this topic. Italy v USA was not shown on BBC or ITV despite not clashing, but as TG says, you could get Eurosport if you wished to see such games

    https://englandmemories.com/2015/06/...a-90-part-one/

    It's rather annoying that Sky were making money from Italia 90 (on dishes) despite not screening the tournament.

  9. #9
    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Ah, okay, I can remember John Peel referring to the Italy/USA game - expected to result in a landslide for the hosts - as he broadcast his show that evening. He must've been monitoring it on a studio TV (via Eurosport, I guess) because his words were something the equivalent of 'you're really not missing much'. (I was a tad peeved by this as I was hanging in for Match of the Day later that evening.)

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    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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    Argentinean TV did not show the team's dead rubber v East Germany in 1974 because Peron died the day after their loss to the Netherlands.

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    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Most oddly, the W Germany/Poland and Netherlands/Brazil final-deciders (plus a couple of dead rubbers, including the above) were halted for thirty seconds mid-match in tribute to Perón.

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    Rogin the Armchair fan's Avatar
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    Well he was the head of state of one of the competing nations. Probably a unique occurrence at a finals?

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    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Sure - but in the middle of a game?

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    Rogin the Armchair fan's Avatar
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    Was this Havelenge's first one as FIFA head or was Rous still in charge?

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    Jah Womble's Avatar
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    Rous retired from the post two days before the 1974 tournament began, apparently.

  16. #16
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
    Gary Imlach's excellent biography of his dad has a fascinating chapter on the 1958 World Cup which shows that the Scottish FA refused to broadcast live midweek games due to fear they would affect domestic attendances. This struck me as curious because I didn't know that Scotland had domestic football in June 1958 but also because it suggests that there wasn't the media interest in the national team that we associate with the 1974-90 World Cups.

    This leads me to my main query which is how long it took for the World Cup to become a fully televised event. I am aware, of course, that simultaneous kick-offs meant that many important games went unseen all the way up to Mexico 86 (when the Beeb would incredibly sometimes only show the 2nd half). Was it the threat of competition of Sky for TV rights that caused BBC and ITV to finally show all the games they could live? Was it the poor image of football in the 80s that allowed them to deprive viewers of games?

    What's your most annoying memory of missing a game you wanted to see because the Beeb and ITV decided it wasn't important enough to screen?
    Quote Originally Posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
    This leads me to my main query which is how long it took for the World Cup to become a fully televised event. I am aware, of course, that simultaneous kick-offs meant that many important games went unseen all the way up to Mexico 86 (when the Beeb would incredibly sometimes only show the 2nd half). Was it the threat of competition of Sky for TV rights that caused BBC and ITV to finally show all the games they could live? Was it the poor image of football in the 80s that allowed them to deprive viewers of games?
    UK TV coverage of football in the 70s and 80s was a complete mess generally and there were all sorts of reasons why games weren't shown - that ITV Football 1968-1983 (which I can't link to from here) is full of good examples. That Italy v USA one in 1990 is still a mystery though - Italy were obviously the hosts and there was a lot of attention on USA as being the next hosts, with lots of talk about whether they 'deserved' the World Cup.

    I've mentioned before but in the middle of the 1990 tournament I went to the US for a long visit to my brother's so spent the last couple of weeks watching games on TNT then switching to Spanish language coverage when TNT went to commercial breaks during open play. Eventually it got too annoying and we watched extra time and penalties of England's semi final on the Spanish language station in case we missed anything. These were also the days of paying to get into an English pub to watch a satellite feed of domestic coverage so we endured the Egypt and Belgium games that way.

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