Saturday, 10 July 2010

World Cup disappointment

The most notable aspect of watching my first World Cup in Thailand, aside late match kick-offs courtesy of the five hour time delay between Thailand and South Africa, was a lack of English match coverage and technical analysis.

The Three Lions performance was somewhat disappointing too, but away from the hype bubble of the UK press I was not too shocked or overly saddened (as I usually am) given team was truly dreadful and barely deserved to qualify for the knock-out phase.

Leaving match analysis aside, as I'm sure Roundball Passion, a new blog from the excellent fella behind Beyond The Mango Juice, covers this in more detail, other issues arose in Thailand.

It seems Thai broadcasters failed to purchase the rights for English language commentary and, as is often the case in Thailand, the detailed match analysis, pre and post game, which often is cumulatively longer than the football itself in England was missing too.

What a coincidence that the Telegraph's Expat section decided to cover this story here.

Eyes peeled for a very media friendly quote from yours truly, and comment from Mike, who incidentally has a new blog over here.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy learning and listening to Thai, but during the football Thai analysis is pretty low-tech and obvious, never thought I'd find myself pining for English commentary...funny how things pan out.

Now what was I saying about the joys of blogging t'other day...nice to see your name in lights.

If I'm here for next World Cup, or European Championships in 2012, lets hope a lesson is learnt and English is included. Don't get me wrong I'll be a fluent Thai speaker by then (I wish! - though my football vocab is already well stacked) but my little fella(s) can follow in English.


Mike said...

Jon, glad to see Ms Hyslop at the Telegraph contacted you too. We are becoming expat media stars, oh for a link from their blog :-)

Although my comment to the Telegraph was fairly upbeat I did mention I missed match analysis because even with my limited Thai its pretty obvious the Thai commentary team are not ex-professional footballers(putting it politely).

I am fairly certain that as the article in the paper says this was an issue between True and FIFA, perhaps they didn't want to pay more?

Like you I usually cringe at some of the English commentary teams especially the ex-footballers......but yes I did miss that element although there was no way I was staying up till 1.30am to view it anyway.

Finally thank you so much for the link to my new blog, any publicity is appreciated.

Boonsong said...

I understand that the lack of English language commentary had everything to do with money, and a relatively small amount of it too. Such is life.

Happy viewing, Boonsong

Martyn said...

Jon thanks for the link and kind words about Roundball Passion. Much appreciated.

I know plenty of British fans who would quite happily swap you Andy Gray for one of your Thai commentary team.

I followed the link to the Telegraph online, did the two of you make it to the broadsheet. They must know (Telegraph) I'm a Crewe Alexandra fan and assumed I know nothing about football at all.

Leosia said...

I also heard that the issue of English language commentary was either about money (unwillingness to pay for rights), or concerns by the distributors of widespread copyright infringement. The fact that True Visions lied to their customers about the HD package prior to the World Cup indicates that it was probably the money.

Jon said...

Yep, kick back Mike, this is the life... ha ha. Yes a link from them would be worth its weight, I wonder why they don't, gives their stories a little more depth.

I think it came down to money with True saving a little by not taking up the rights. Used to them doing anything they can for a few extra baht, times are tight?

Jon said...

Spot on Boonsong, though nothing tops England's 'performances' for disappointment.

Jon said...

Yeah would love a bit of Andy Gray - though not like that - even the English commentary of Premiership games comes from Steve McMahon and other 'heavyweights' out of Singapore. I tend to go for Five Live commentary over the web instead.

Crewe fan really? Dario was my Dad's PE teacher when he was at school...any excuse to roll that tired paternal anecdote out. Up the Railwaymen.

Jon said...

Yeah you got it right, hardly a surprise given True's track record, goes completely against the meaning of the T word.

Mike said...

I'm not sure about that particular section of the Telegraph. In a previous quote I had included there were some spelling and grammatical errors would you believe? I hasten to add not from me!

I agree some depth would be great but I wonder if they use the column for "cub" reporters to cut their teeth on?

I despair with True at times but I like the Premiership coverage so I persevere, the magazine is terrible, for example I enjoy Nat Geo but the times in the schedule are always an hour out in the publication.

Mike said...

Martyn I believe we only get in the on line addition, unfortunately even there they are a bit stingy with their links but I keep plugging away in the hope one day I might hit pay dirt with them.

I was actually contacted out of the blue by the reporter for a previous quote about winter fuel allowance(not being paid to expats) so I guess she had been doing a round of expat blogs because I had written a piece on British Expats Directory.

Great big station at Crewe I believe?

Jon said...

On that note, not sure how I was found - suspect it was the blog - though I did contribute a message of disgust when I found out, there was no English commentary, to a lively conversation of the topic on Twitter. Would be nice to think they searched Twitter, but suspect Thai blogs are easily monitored once you find a couple, links, blog rolls etc reveal a fairly populous niche.