Saturday's England vs. Ukraine World Cup qualifier is going to be broadcasted exclusively on the internet in the UK. The backstory is that Setanta Sports, who was originally licensed to broadcast the match, folded earlier this year and, in a scramble, the rights were sold to Perform, a digital sports broadcaster. The match will be shown at www.ukrainevengland.com.
Supposedly, none of the UK's traditional broadcasters were willing to pay the asking price to screen the game.
The FA's official statement is: "We would obviously like to see the game broadcast to as many people as possible" but insisted the matter was out of his organisation's hands."
If I were not disgusted by, fed up with, and dispassionate over England football and, particularly, English Football fans, I may have some sympathy for them.
As I become increasingly educated in and aware of the intricacies of English Football, it seems that their "old-boys" network and overtly conservative practices surpass that of even American College Football and Major League Baseball. As I'm without satellite television or Fox Soccer Channel (although I do have GolTV), I'm unable to watch most football matches these days -- the upcoming USA vs. Honduras World Cup qualifier, which, unlike the England vs. Ukraine match, actually matters, is not being broadcast in the United States, not even on the Internet.
Ultimately, the analyzing question I ask myself over this matter is: does streaming the football match make the match available to more or less fans, elite or everyman fans, and, in the end, will it advance football causes to a larger, youthful audience?
While it seems that this move will secure less fans and less households than it would had the match been broadcast on television, it does seem like this incident may aid in contemporarily advancing English football.
On a side note, I was going to write a condemning post of Real Madrid after I watched their loss at Sevilla F.C. yesterday. Earlier in the year, I published my prediction that Real Madrid was going to win both the UEFA Champions League as well as La Liga. While I was going to rescind that prediction after watching F.C. Barcelona dance their way to victory after victory and after watching Real Madrid look inflated, dull, and overly-confident throughout the entire game, I'm still not certain that a Christiano Ronaldo Real Madrid isn't superior to Barcelona.