Does new service make you go Yahoo?

A silent revolution happened this weekend. You may not have noticed it, but there is a new webcaster in town in the UK offering free English Premier League highlights.
Yahoo! are now showing four minute packages of every game about 48 hours after the kick-off. Match of the Day it is not – you won’t find Alan Hansen’s sharp analysis attached at the end of the goal, or a commentator who would make Motty quake in his boots.
But that’s not really the point of the new service. Yahoo’s video highlights aim to capture the power of the watercooler moment. You know, when you and your mates come in to work on Monday and argue over ‘that goal’. Well, Yahoo hope to resolve many workspace spats by giving you the video evidence to show you are right.
It certainly is a powerful tool. As former Head of Content at ITV.com, I know how many thousands of video views we used to generate from ‘Goal-Mad Monday’ – when we showed highlights from the Prem League, FA Cup and various European matches.
But I think our power came in the volume of football we had to show. We had the rights to footage from about 10 different competitions, but Yahoo! only has the Premier League.
And how will they overcome the old chestnut of You Tube? The video-sharing service is still the platform of choice for most fans looking for that watercooler moment, even if many of the clips shouldn’t be on there (pirated clips are something we have talked about a lot in F.C. Business).
At least the former rights holders for web clips, Perform, placed the content on many platforms through their shared player. The question to ask in these days of sharing and ‘being social’, will Yahoo’s desire to keep them only on their platform bring them a new audience?
So, will you be saying Yahoo! after watching their video – take a look at yahoo.co.uk.

Ban pre-season predictions

If there’s one thing that makes me laugh on the first Saturday of the season, it’s the obligatory rush to predict who will win this league or be relegated from that one.
It seems like there’s a national obsession among pundits and football fans alike to make complete fools of themselves by being so far away from accurate it would make a Swiss watch maker cringe in despair.
Honestly, the only other time I have seen a mass gathering of people willing to make themselves look stupid is at a Britain’s Got Talent audition.
Let’s end this sillyness now and ban all pre-season predictions. You know any semblance of form will not show itself until at least three games in and that the team you picked for relegation will administer 9-nil drubbings in their first two games.
It’s madness I tell you – a lottery where no-one wins. So why not cover up the crystal balls until the end of September? That way, you will get a real sense of how talented pundits really are.

Is Absolute Radio the Wright choice for fans?

Absolute Beginners are the sound of the Premier League

My inbox pinged to the sound of a reminder from the Absolute Radio┬átoday to tell me that their debut live football commentary show will be kicking off this weekend with ball-by-ball action from Aston Villa V West Ham (a cracking choice considering Mr O’Neill’s departure – although they did choose the match before today’s announcement).

However, this D-Day in the history of football reporting came as no shock to me and to you loyal F.C. Business readers – as I did an exclusive interview with the boss of Absolute in our last edition. You can read it on page 14 here http://www.fcbusiness.co.uk/eversion/FCB46/pageflip.html
The question is, how many people are braced for the new radio revolution, where over two-thirds of all Premier League commentaries will NOT be on BBC Five Live.
Absolute’s one game per Saturday and TalkSPORT’s exclusive Saturday evening and Sunday lunchtime commentaries means football fans will have to chage their listening habits and keep on their toes as to which broadcaster will be airing commentary on their team.
Are football fans really prepared for that? Or will old habits die hard and will people stick to Five Live even if they are just providing match reports?
The positives of the Absolute Radio deal is that we now have a chance to change the radio landscape and Absolute could re-invent radio football coverage and do something really exciting.
For brands wanting to associate themselves to the Premier League without big budgets, radio does offer a low cost entry route compared to TV sponsorship or even official league sponsorship.
However, I have heard some murmurings from football fans that Absolute’s line-up does not excite them and the choice of Ian Wright does not excite them.
But Ian has always divided opinion and there are many people who like him and are excited that he is back on the radio.
So, what do you think? Will you be listening to Absolute on Saturday? Is this the brave new world for football commentary? Let me know below.