ITV say nein to the Euro 2008 final 

28 January 2008 tbs.pm/846

Not being a sports fan by any means, this was a story I almost missed. But it’s a story that is actually quite interesting. It seems that in Euro 2008 this year, ITV1 will not be showing the competition final.

Normally with the Football World Cup and the European Football Championships, the final match is always jointly broadcast by both the BBC and ITV – meaning that every time, anyone in the country who has absolutely no interest in football, suddenly finds themselves staring at the TV screen, annoyed, whilst their attempted viewing is spoilt by the resulting reduction in choice caused by the same match being on two channels. And also notably, every time – and when I say every time, I mean EVERY time – ITV gets absolutely, completely and utterly trounced in the ratings. In 2006 for example, out of a combined audience of 20m people, 17.5m of them tuned into the BBC One coverage – that’s 87.5%.

And every year, those like me wonder quite why ITV do it. Why do they bother? Why don’t they just show a nice film instead? (Although preferably not some dire “chick” flick – not everyone who doesn’t like football is a woman after all)

This time sense prevails, although anyone hoping that such a decision may be repeated in the future shouldn’t hold their breath. The decision this time has been taken because there’s no UK teams in the tournament – and thus no chance of some amazing ad-revenue bonanza if one of the home nations miraculously got through to the final…

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