I have largely ignored the whole Radio Nottingham debate so far, merely guessing that something would surely get sorted at some stage, and that it was just a simple game of Football Radio Coverage Chicken.
However, we are now on the Tuesday before the game and nothing has been confirmed. Might it be Saturdays are longer spent listening to Colin Frays coverage?
Now this had led some fans to go into a mini melt down on what they are to do without their usual regime, how the drive to the game, or drive home post game will be ruined, as if Radio Nottingham wouldn’t be able to even talk about the game before hand or present some post match summarising (it would merely jeopardise live match coverage)
No, a great many have simply decided the whole match day experience is going to be ruined. And I for one would lament the loss of local radio coverage.
But it wouldn’t mean there is no options. This is the day and age of football being a business and with FFP any source of cash is going to be used. If that means making sure people get Forest Player and having an in house service, then if it pays better than the radio, then Forest are well within their rights to look at it.
This isn’t me justifying it I hasten to add, just that this is the day and age we live in.
The benefit of an in house service financially begin to become clear. Advertising. And lots of it. Not just “this commentary is brought to you by” but anything and everything could be sold. This means not only might Forest sell the rights to commentary, but also the rights to advertise before, after and during half time, maybe even during the game (and player X is booked, and if you’re ever in trouble get yourself down to Y & Y Lawyers”) Again this is me taking things to an extreme and there’s no guarantee it would happen. Just could.
I think for so long we have been so spoiled with local coverage that this very idea is so alien as to appear more scary than what it might be. There were the days remember of cutting away from the match for County and Stags updates and perhaps missing something vital.
Now maybe this is Forest playing hard ball. Pushing Radio Nottingham into a corner so far as to crumble to club demands (and the fear mongering spread about Davies relationship with local radio based on nothing more than ignoring it) and almost become a club spokesman themselves.
Additionally in these trying times the BBC looking to cut corners may have cut back budget to spend on local football coverage, they may have a maximum price they can go to that Forest are deeming too low.
It is a dangerous game. Not having free to air Forest coverage on the radio risks jeopardising a future generation of fans unable to stay tuned to games, and not become so attached. That said, if we do get the supposed deal to broadcast every game on Kuwaiti TV, then most games would be available to stream for anyone with the simply tech savvy to know how.
I think the regime misunderstand the good will carrying on a contract with radio Nottingham even for a loss would bring. You can weight up financials or maybe a falling out all you want, but a lot of fans especially on away days count on this service for providing them with the coverage to follow the club the al-Hasawi’s own. That support is needed to sell tickets, shirts, etc. Distancing a set of fans from being able to follow on weeks they can’t attend in person might be a dangerous game, and it might over estimate what lengths people will go to. Everyone has a radio, but does everyone have easy access to streaming commentary, what about those who are driving for a start?
But now we have the extreme angle where people are tweeting at Radio Nottingham, the BBC in general, Fawaz, Jim Price, Forest Official, and Robin Chipperfield demanding answers, when the reason you aren’t getting one is that right now, there is no answer.
I can foresee a situation where if not in the day or so before hand, but in the 2 weeks between the first home game and the next games a compromise being reached. It just seems a case of obstinance for the sake of it, and although I can understand why the club would seek new revenue, it risks alienating a whole branch of fans.