Collapse Would Be A Blow

Sunday, 29 September 2002, 0:01
2 mins read

While it may be news to Tone that NTL is in financial trouble, its common knowledge here.

NTL have been in trouble since 2000. Its close to home as I was personally made redundant from NTL and I know others who visit this site and were laid off too. The deal with PTV was made whilst NTL were in this situation and NTL’s plight has been well covered in the financial news. Therefore the League knew about NTL’s difficulties when they signed an agreement but the League and the clubs knew they were onto a winner as there was nobody else queuing up to launch an internet deal.

“We have budgeted for that money and I will be a happy bunny if we get it. Royals chief executive Nigel Howe”

Some people never learn do they? You would have thought that after the collapse of ITV Digital that no clubs would spend a penny of the projected income from PTV until they have the money in the bank. I am pretty sure that the board of Swansea City and many other clubs have not banked on this money.

I still support the PTV deal. The club get good revenues from the various ads and partners on the sites. The betting firm for example. I know quite a few Jacks who use this rather than nip down the local turf accountants. Its putting money back into the club. I am not privy to the percentages the clubs receive but this is far better than no revenue surely?

From a personal perspective I paid me 25 quid (which the club also get a share of) along with 16000 others for the anyworld service. Today I was able to listen to live commentary of the Hull game plus listen to interviews with management and players. I can also watch the goals. Not just of the Swans but any Nationwide game I want, even Cardiff! That is value for money and beats staying up till the early hours to catch Nationwide football league (is that still on? or was it pulled?)

What is so wrong with this? I have championed the Swansworld package because I believe in the power of internet broadcasting. I wrote an article for ja.net some time back about clubs producing their own tv channels a la Man U and Chelsea. I believe Swansworld is a step in this direction and believe in the next 10 years you will see more club channels on Digital.

If PTV collapsed tomorrow would I be sorry? Yes of course because now I would miss Swansworld as I am starting to rely on it. Would the club be in jeopardy? No of course not, as I said above I doubt if most chairmen are banking on this cash until they have it.

It seems Tony is excited at this development as if it vindicates him. I will leave you with the following thought. If NTL go bust no doubt you will clap and cheer but spare a thought for over a 1000 Swansea people who work for NTL and would lose their jobs, in an area where there is little employment opportunities as it is.

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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