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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

The Sky is Falling?

 31 Comments: First  |  Last

Thinking the title is probably not original, but bear with me.

What if... all the recent events at News Corp threatens the stability of News Corp and their holdings including Sky TV (and associated Sky/Fox Sports channels around the world)?

Don't get me wrong: I don't think it's a panacea to our own personal failings as a club, in fact it could be a very negative thing in many ways; suddenly the financial strength of a club's owners becomes even MORE important.

Which means our situation gets WORSE and not better.

I am not an expert on these things, so help me here, folks:

1. What is the likelihood of Sky / Fox Sports changing ownership?

2. What is the likely impact on the value of global TV rights for the Premier League and/or how they are structured with (fairly?) equal distribution?

3. What happens to Everton FC if all the TV money dries up?

I just cancelled my Fox Soccer TV subscription which enabled me to watch MANY live games on broadband internet connection without cable TV... (-;

Hard to do, I love watching Everton and the Premier League in general, but I couldn't live with supporting Murdoch and his organization after what's come out in the last two weeks.

It was hard enough as it is watching anything broadcast by Fox (anyone who ever watched Fox "News" understands what I mean).

Call me a sanctimonious fool if you wish, but it was a small gesture to show my personal disgust at these people.

Julian Wait, Austin, TX, USA     Posted 16/07/2011 at 23:09:28

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Chris Bannantyne
1   Posted 17/07/2011 at 04:08:32

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I certainly am no expert either, but I just can't see old Rupert having any trouble. He won't lose control/sell Fox/Sky anytime soon. The guy is worth around $7billion and, in case you have never noticed, billionaires get away with murder.

Plus, this is the guy that owns the 'news'. He can control the public's view of him and his companies whenever he feels like it.
Eric Myles
2   Posted 17/07/2011 at 04:42:56

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I'm sure he's got more than enough dirt on all the pols and members of royal families around the world to make sure if someone wants to tear his house of cards down then many more will tumble too.
Kiern Moran
3   Posted 17/07/2011 at 05:05:37

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Ideally if the money does dry up maybe we might reach a world where footballers don't earn every week more then say doctors, teachers or nurses do in a year. And we return to a financial model that's based on fans paying money to attend games.

However, I can not see a Tory government doing anymore then slapping Murdoch on the wrist.
Julian Wait
4   Posted 17/07/2011 at 05:37:11

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I agree with all of your sentiments, Chris, Eric and Kiern. What prompted me to write was the possibility that the FBI and US regulatory entities may get involved, as I doubt they would be so complicit with him. All the analyses I have read indicate that until very recently the UK phone hacking was seen as a non-US issue and that NOTW was a minor player in the grand scheme of News Corp/Fox. I feel that tide is also turning what was a local skirmish is now taking on global significance.

Some funny / disturbing videos for your enlightenment / amusement:

Fox And Friends' Comically Clumsy Defense of News Corp.

Steve Coogan and Greg Dyke rip into Paul McMullen on Newsnight
James Flynn
5   Posted 17/07/2011 at 06:28:42

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Fox News is about Roger Ailes, a reactionary nut who found himself in charge of a media giant.

Over here, the mocking of him and how he forces his Talking Heads to spout outright lies as "News" is gaining steam (Do you get John Stewart's show there).

On the other hand, Rupert is all about making money and Ailes has him raking in the sheckles, which (fairly) driven, ruthless owners are about in any field.

Unfortunately for Murdoch (If I'm understanding the tone of your post Julian), the big circle of life has sent back to you what you sent out. Ruthless pursuit of profit in the political arena is common, normal even, but requires subtlety.

Fox now makes such massive gelt that they seem to have lost the way. I'd say most of that is Murdoch's age and his non-existant plan for succession. So backstage is becoming a free-for-all for position.

Ailes the prime example in America where Obama's team is going to crush the right trumpeting Fox News' lies in our coming National elections.
Julian Wait
6   Posted 17/07/2011 at 07:04:04

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@James - I am in Austin TX. I actually hardly watch TV, if I did I would watch John Stewart, I sometime catch up on the internet with his latest stuff.

James Flynn
7   Posted 17/07/2011 at 08:22:52

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By the by Julian - The money in professional sports covererage will never dry up. Murdoch is hardly the only one out there.

And I love Austin! I have a house in Harker Heights outside Fort Hood and can't wait to get back.
Andy McNabb
8   Posted 17/07/2011 at 08:23:42

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Sanctimonious? I don't think so, Julian. I threw out a similar challenge last week to Everton supporters (indeed all supporters of non Sky 6 clubs) to do just what you have done.

The silence in response has been deafening but sadly, until we all forsake the Sky gravy train, the situation will continue to exist where 14 clubs in the Premiership are just there to give the Sky 6 a home and away fixture.

I must admit I have harboured (probably naive) hopes that Sky will disappear in to oblivion, taking football as we know it down too. I honestly believe that painful though this would be, it is the only realistic chance ANYONE, (including Everton and Accrington Stanley), has of winning the top league in England ever again. These hugely wealthy owners are after publicity and without the Sky exposure I believe they would bale out in a moment.

Someone put a list on a link last week, showing the teams who have won the EPL since its creation. If it wasn't so sad, it would be laughable.

You never know, maybe Obama and the FBI will bring Murdoch down?

Now, as the rest of you are not going to jump on board with the boycott idea, I'll go and check to see that my $80 monthly direct debit has gone into Murdoch's coffers.
Tony Waring
9   Posted 17/07/2011 at 10:29:38

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Andy #8 you are quite right. Unless and until we all cancel our subs to Sky probably nothing will happen to get football back to sanity. I'm strongly tempted to do so but then I think of Saturday evenings in winter, hundreds of miles away from Goodison and cannot bring myself to "do the deed".
Tom Harries
10   Posted 17/07/2011 at 10:55:53

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Murdoch only actually owns 39% of BSkyB so even if News Corp goes under or he is hauled off to the local nick (which is extremely unlikely), his shares in BSkyB will be sold.

The TV rights for the Premier League are so valuable that even if Sky disappeared in a puff of smoke, the PL would simply sell those rights to someone else (whoever bought Sky's satellites, probably) for a similar amount of money, as they know people will pay to watch. The PL have stated on more than one occasion that they won't sell to free-to-air channels as they don't have the money.

Trevor Mackie
11   Posted 17/07/2011 at 11:00:04

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I did it.

My sky box broke and to be honest I couldn't be bothered with it any more.

I sent an email cancelling and they rang back pronto.

I now have a new box upgraded to HD installed free of charge and the HD paid for 10 months. They also sent a free router with free broadband.

I'm quite ashamed of both my smugness and craven supplication.

I've applied for Elstone's job if he gets the boot.

Chris Bannantyne
12   Posted 17/07/2011 at 11:23:01

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Hahah Trevor, nice one. Hope you get the job!
David Hallwood
13   Posted 17/07/2011 at 12:58:19

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James#5, we used to get the Daily Show on the minority channel More 4, until for some inexplicable reason some toss pot TV executive decided to take it off. I agree with the Sky sentiments, but sadly it?s like watching Everton-you should register a protest by staying away, but my love of football in general and Everton in particular overrides any qualms I have about the Everton board and the Murdoch empire (even though if I was asked who I think the antichrist is.....) so it?s probably a reluctant renewal of my season ticket and an even more reluctant continuation of my Sky subscription (but I don?t go near his papers)

I cling on to the hope that nothing lasts forever, and perhaps FIFA UEFA or any other organisation will bring some economic sanity into the madhouse that is the Premier League. As a start James, you?re American and if you?ve got any influence with Obama, how about some drone strikes on football agents?
David Hallwood
14   Posted 17/07/2011 at 13:32:22

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Julian Wait #4, Thanks for the link. I've just watched the youtube Fox news clip. Are these the same people that criticise despotic regimes for having television that pumps out their masters? propaganda.
Brian Waring
15   Posted 17/07/2011 at 13:43:37

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If Sky were to demise, it would be the likes of us who would suffer, we rely on the Sky money big style.

The top clubs would still have the mega-rich owners.
Brian Denton
16   Posted 17/07/2011 at 14:05:57

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David (#13) you can still watch the Daily Show every day on your pc (I do). I never use Internet Explorer, but in Firefox all you have to do is find out how to 'Modify Headers' (google it, there's plenty of helpers out there) which stops the Daily Show's site being able to geographically locate you. Since it doesn't know you're in the UK, the geographical block doesn't work. Bingo - you don't have to put up with the crappy 'Global Edition' which is all you can get on UK TV now.
David Hallwood
17   Posted 17/07/2011 at 15:04:12

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Cheers Brian :)
Jay Wilson
18   Posted 17/07/2011 at 15:14:56

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Never subscribed or bought anything that is remotely linked to Murdoch and never will. Hope he sinks like a stone but somehow I doubt it. People with money have a habit of side-stepping the law.

Here is The Daily Show's piece on the NotW scandal

"You people are garbage" Joy!
Andrew Gilbert
19   Posted 17/07/2011 at 16:52:21

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I dumped Sky about two years ago, when Freeview appeared in my area..

I do watch all the away games via various links on the internet but catch 22 with those because if the football TV market was destroyed those links would be lost and we would be back to MOTD or dodgy EFC website feeds!

Money HAS destroyed the game we once knew. Unfortunately there is no easy answer that everyone will accept. (3 foreigner rule might help a bit though!)
Julian Wait
20   Posted 17/07/2011 at 17:27:23

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@Jay 18 - Priceless that. Many quotes, including the final beauty: "The guy who got car-head from an LA road prostitute is now the moral compass of my nation."
Chad Schofield
21   Posted 17/07/2011 at 17:32:47

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"I feel that tide is also turning what was a local skirmish is now taking on global significance."

By that you mean there's a global impact because American's have been effected oven the rumours of 9/11 victims having had their phones messed with. Sadly you media is almost as tarnished as ours when it comes to Murdoch. The NoTW was an easy target, and anyone thinking other papers don't pay Police and/or use gather personal information underhandedly is naive to say the least.

Of course NoTW was the easy villain and scapegoat... and Simply Red's poisonous twin sister had to go too - I'm just surprised she lasted as long as she did. Sky won't suffer though. And Fox sports is only likely to get the French's mustard treatment from the American public I'm afraid.

I'm not anti-American by the way, I'm actually currently loving being out here on honeymoon (hence the distinct lack of contribution of late - wedding planning, and possibly also feeling the general apathy towards this up coming season).

Martin Handley
22   Posted 17/07/2011 at 18:56:50

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I don't think we need to worry too much about the Sky money running out. Even if Murdoch does get jailed in the States there will be no shortage of people lining up to succeed him will there.

The is so much money to be made by Sky that the money they pay for the Prem doesn't even register with them, the advertising rights and the exposure far out weigh that risk.

Agree with Chad #21 about NotW, I think he was going to bin it anyway, but I don't think he thought the South's fav rag, the Scum, would be affected too but I'm loving that!

Anybody heard how the U20s got on?

Julian Wait
23   Posted 18/07/2011 at 01:30:34

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@Chad 21 - I am living in Austin TX USA but am a Brit who primarily reads primary British sources, Guardian/Telegraph/BBC/Economist, in part to balance all the secondary sources I get through local contacts here.

It's amazing how often I discover a US oriented story reported somewhat prominently in the UK main newspapers, that doesn't register here in the media for most folks, certainly not with any significance.

You imply that Murdoch was targeted and that other Newspapers are just as bad. Whilst I am sure all journalists cross into quasi-legal territory, I just think these guys went beyond the pale, and for me there was the main issues identified up top that might impact Everton, as a result of the broader issues:

1. Will they be prosecuted in the US as well as the UK?
2. Will there be a corporate restructure?
3. Will this impact the equally despicable Fox News?

Nice to see the third red top (Rebekah) get prosecuted today. We're all praying that this leads to a paper trail back to Cheney and Rove and we can bring them down too, I mean I bet they're RS fans aren't they?
Chad Schofield
24   Posted 18/07/2011 at 03:37:29

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Hi Julian, I wasn't really suggesting poor old Murdoch is being targeted... just more that the rest of his shit rags on both sides of the Atlantic have probably been following suit for years.

I'd heard about Fox "news" but Christ (or should that be gee whiz or something), it's about as biased as it gets!

My other dig was indeed at the American's idea of international news... which only becomes relevant if it features them - but as an ex pat, that's tantamount to teaching you to suck eggs, right?
Eric Myles
25   Posted 18/07/2011 at 04:16:50

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Don't need a Sky subscription to watch Sky, it can be had on t'internet for free.
Julian Wait
26   Posted 18/07/2011 at 04:23:26

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@Chad 24 - International news here is very twisted to the American view, although putting the shoe on the other foot, the British news is fairly (sometimes very) biased as well, as I am sure is every news channel around the world. Best international news here is probably NPR.

Now Fox News (more about them in a minute) and their like call NPR "Non Patriotic Radio" which tells you a lot in itself. i.e. if it isn't part of the US booster club and fuck everyone else, then, damn it, it's not patriotic.

PLEASE do not think all Americans are like that or that they enjoy Fox News. It's not all Americans. I could expand but this is about Everton and not progressive theory. :-)
Julian Wait
27   Posted 18/07/2011 at 04:38:13

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Now for Fox News. Well it's ALMOST like a parody of itself. In fact, it goes so far out of reality at times, and so far into something that is clearly BONKERS, you really wonder how much genius is at work that they get away with it.
James Flynn
28   Posted 18/07/2011 at 05:26:23

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Good stuff all. That's why I tout Jon Stewart's show. He dishes out the business to everyone, but loves pointing out Fox "News'" bold-faced lying as real. It's all Ailes over here. Likely his time is coming as you've seen his equivalent other there getting there's.

I think it's worth pointing out Murdoch runs the company like he'll never die. There isn't a successor.

Once he's gone, anticipate a slide downward in Fox. You can love or hate Rupert, but few like him come along; good or bad.
James Flynn
29   Posted 18/07/2011 at 05:50:26

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Chad (21) - Sorry to hear you're over here and the goings-on have you feeling apathetic at the time of your nuptuals to your beloved. It's not effecting your honeymoon ardor I hope?

I'm just saying.
Andy Callan
30   Posted 18/07/2011 at 09:40:09

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The whole of footie would be royally fucked if the TV cash dries up...

All apart from Chelski, Shitteh and a couple of others who have owners that earn more in a minute than the whole of Goodison earns in their lifetime, will go out of business.

We'll not be in as bad a position and certain others, but that clubs depend on that cash just to pay their wage bills.

It'd all be quite funny in my opinion. What would be even funnier would be if that twat Murdoch went to prision.

I'll be keeping my Sky subscription as I like Baseball, Super League and Cricket - I've not missed the bullshit that surrounds the PL over the past couple of months to be honest....

I certainly haven't missed those nobheads Keys & Gray.
Chad Schofield
31   Posted 19/07/2011 at 09:38:53

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Don't worry, James, the delayed responses probably demonstrate the fact I've got other things on my mind.

And Julian, I fully appreciate that not all Americans are switched off to anything outside of their country... and you're right that the British press can be pretty crap too.

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