Having been saved from much of England’s pitiful performance in the Ashes Tests due to Sky having the exclusive rights, millions of armchair sports fans are calling for similar arrangements for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. According to an on-line opinion poll, the viewing public are keen to be protected from the pain and anguish of witnessing yet another pathetic capitulation by a national side on live TV.
Far from bemoaning the lack of live top quality sport accessible to everyone via BBC and ITV channels, the poll found that Sky’s exclusive ball-by-ball coverage of the Ashes series was very popular, especially amongst those who don’t have Sky. ‘Best decision I ever made was to stick with Freeview,’ wrote Bryan Wilkins of Bracknell in a typical entry. ‘Half an hour of Test highlights each day caused me more than enough suffering.’
Television bosses have reviewed their World Cup broadcasting rights in light of the opinion poll results. The resulting negotiations regarding England’s forthcoming defeats at the hands of Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica are understood to have reached a tense stand-off. Terrestrial companies are keen to minimise their viewers’ feelings of anger and frustration by not televising the games but Sky are said to be very protective of giving away alternative attractions such as Honduras versus Ecuador.
It is also understood that the BBC had lined up Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy to be a pundit once more but are now considering whether a dour, whinging, monotonic Yorkshireman slagging off the performance of his countrymen would be universally well-received.