When Fox Sports World started relaying broadcasts of Sky Sports News all those years ago it was a godsend for fans of soccer because for the first time we got televised updates of major soccer news events (highlights were always iffy with constantly changing rights rules) such as transfers, scandals, etc. Before, one could really only follow these through print and online radio.
But, as When Saturday Comes mentions here, Sky Sports very much has its own agenda when it comes to what it reports. Sky simply ignores events it doesn’t have the rights to in a way that not even ESPN attempts to get away with. Typically, this hasn’t been the case with soccer, which Sky rightly sees as its big moneymaker. Instead, SSN typically ignored events whose rights were limited to the big “terrestrial” networks, BBC and ITV. This meant that SSN would pretty much deny the existence of events like the Olympics, Formula 1, Ryder Cup, and others where they didn’t have a “piece of the action.”
This probably doesn’t matter too much to you. Here’s where it might start to. The WSC story above shows how SSN might be starting to ignore soccer events that it doesn’t have the rights to, including Monday’s Liverpool-Everton match. This of course is a disservice to fans and typical Sky-Newscorp behavior on such matters. Premiership fans over here (and presumably in the UK) don’t want to have to remind themselves which network owns the rights to which individual Premiership matches before tuning in to see the managers’ post-game thoughts.
In the interest of balance, I am going to watch Setanta Sports News a bit more closely this week and see if they are doing anything similar regarding events where they don’t own any rights.