EPL Southeast Asia TV blackout… Where’s the SPFL??
For most of the football watching world the BIG league kicks off this weekend, as the English Premier League kicks into action. The teams this year are awash with extra revenue as the biggest ever tv deal kicks into action.
But, and this is a big but, one major growth region will be largely unable to watch any of it.
That’s thanks to the fatcats taking an offer from MP&Silva for exclusive access to live English Premier League games from 2013 until 2016. No more will the local ESPN and StarSports channels in Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan or Indonesia show the live English action. Oh no, instead we’ve got the delights of Indian Badminton and on Sunday’s, the Dutch Eredivisie. (**The Thai local channels have shelled out over 100m USD for the rights to the games this year to allow Thai’s to watch – no other country has picked them up!**)
Yep, that’s right, the worlds fastest growing region, and major football market has basically cut off the layman from watching their favorite English side. While there is various options available (unreliable streams mostly!) they tend to be rather on the expensive side (you can pick up the Japanese sat stations on the Skyperfect system – see here in much of South East Asia, but the cheapest subscription will cost you 2000usd a year! – av. wage annual wage in Philippines? – Less than that!)
While MP&Silva have launched their new EPL channel called BeIN Sports, the chances of it appearing on networks in South East Asia anytime soon is pretty low. When Setanta Sports originally launching in Asia, it took 18 (EIGHTEEN Months) to achieve their first regulatory approval to broadcast. Even now, they are only available on a handful of systems. The problem with just launching a new channel is the approvals needed from so many different countries, and the different departments within those countries.
So, this got me thinking:
If English football will be unavailable for at least the next two seasons to the normal man in South East Asia, isn’t this a great time for the Scottish to get in on the act? Why couldn’t we OFFER the rights to Scottish Live Football for the next few seasons to FoxSportsAsia (the most available sports channel in South East Asia) for FREE. Yes, for FREE. Hell, why don’t we just throw in the broadcast costs for FREE as well?
Just think of the exposure we would have in SouthEast Asia. Just think of the MILLIONS of extra viewers for Scottish football. Think of the extra shirt sales alone…
Infact, maybe this is what Charles Green had in mind when he started talking about a 500m global fan base… Afterall, Man Utd claim 350m in this region alone!
And you never know… without ANY competition people might actually realise watching Scottish Football is not all that bad, and in a couple of years time we might actually be able to CHARGE for the product.
As St.Johnstone and others decided last year, it is time to ensure future generations grow up watching football. The free kids initiatives seem to be creating the next generation of football fans. The opportunity is there RIGHT NOW (not in 5 years time – NOW) for the new Scottish Professional Football League to create a whole new generation of Scottish fans and take them from under the noses of our money grabbing neighbors to the south.
A pipe dream? Probably… But it would put Scottish Football on the Asian map for minimal expense…
Stewart Regan can contact me now and I’ll even help him set it up. He’d have saved himself a lot of embarrassment if he’d listened to me last year…