The World Cup is playing, but I ain’t watching

Glory Days

For those who know me, you may be wondering why the World Cup is playing and yet I am not watching. There is one simple reason: I HAVE TO WORK. But, games are also played in the evening and on weekends, but I can’t always watch them. Why? Because they are only televised in Spain on the following three channels: Cuarto, la Sexta, and Canal+ Digital. Not everyone gets those stations. Cuarto is open and Canal+ is a pay-for channel. And guess what, they are owned by the same company (which is owned by the dude in Spain who owns everything including the government). La Sexta is a new station and does not have universal coverage. In the US (a non-soccer nation) you can see ALL of the games live. In Spain, not all of them are live and some are not even televised. Only Spain’s matches are showed live. Do Spaniard’s simply not care about the rest of the world?

Isn’t the World Cup an international event of important public interest? Why has FIFA permitted the rights to the event to be purchased by two channels who are not giving open access to the people. What would my revolutionary-fight-the-power brother think of this? Actually, a friend of mine has drafted a letter of complaint to FIFA. He suggests that anyone who is outraged should send the same letter (or similar letter) to FIFA in protest. Please find the letter here:

To be sent to media@fifa.org and press@infrontsports.com

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing regarding the television coverage of world cup games in Spain and their live broadcast. It is my understanding that the rights and licenses were bought by three channels, namely ‘Cuatro’, ‘La Sexta’ and ‘Canal +’. The first two are free channels although most of the public had to buy a digital top-box to view ‘La Sexta’. I am of the firm belief that all the games should be available live without additional cost (than that of respective legal country specific costs such as a UK BBC license).

What seems to be happening here in Spain is that the monopoly belongs to Canal+ who are the only channel showing some of the prime games live. The first England game, for example, versus Paraguay was shown over 10 hours after the actual event, at 1.30 in the morning by ‘La Sexta’. Another of many examples, Argentina vs Netherlands was delayed until 11.30 at night which also makes it difficult for working people to enjoy. Many are 45 minute delays for some incomprehensible reason.If there were time delays due to different time zones I might understand, but as we share the same time zone I find it suspicious that between channel ‘Cuatro’ and ‘La Sexta’ all games can not be shown real-time. Could there be a vested interest due to the fact that the owner of Canal + is also the owner of ‘Cuatro’?

I hope this is not the case as I would like to see a fair coverage for the people of Spain without being forced to pay for the privilege of a live game. I look forward to your comments.

Yours faithfully,

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8 Comments

Filed under Living la vida española

8 responses to “The World Cup is playing, but I ain’t watching

  1. Spain SUCKS BIG TIME!! IN ALL RESPECTS!!!bunch of amateurs at everything. Anyone want to challenge that?

  2. the only reason why foreigners go live there is because they excel much more than in their own country.

  3. in other words, spaniards make the rest of the world look good.

  4. eric

    The Spanish team wasn’t that bad. It did alright, but played one game so so against a very experienced French team. No reason to complain. That’s life. No comment on point 2.

  5. a so so game? we cought Ukraine sleeping, we had a scare with tunisia and we scored one miserable goal against the “children of the dessert”.
    Now that’s smthn to worry about. less jamon serrano and more criadillas! this world was made for men not children.

  6. remember your old post about children talk? that is exactly what Spain is to the rest of the world in every respect.

  7. Granuja,

    Don’t take it so hard! I just paid my taxes in Spain, and I have to admit that Spain has one of the most efficient and user-friendly tax declaration systems I have ever seen. Really. It’s easy and almost no head-aches.

  8. Ryan

    I was reading your other post about Zidane and it was pretty much word for word what i written on the WC league message board… i guess we were thinking the same thing.

    you know how i feel about one person (or one corporation) owning the rights to t.v. in spain. it is awful. at some point such power will so out of hand that people will have had enough and will take it to the streets, until then letters and votes won’t do a thing. look at the U.S. they went to goddamn war for corporate interests. the U.S. pays their soldiers less $40,000 per year to guard Haliburton’s workers while we pay Haliburton’s workers their salaries which average over $100,000 per worker. That makes NO FUCKING sense. I remember the politcal consciousness of the spanish people (have not lived in spain for almost 10 years), but in the U.S.- it is not even that Americans are stupid- it is that they don’t give care. As long as they can get there Starbucks coffee and the closest shopping mall is open they don’t care: how many people innocent people die in iraq or even in New Orleans, how much the gas cost, how warm the planet is, how many people are detained w/out due process, and the list goes on. But they do care about their neighbors… that their personal and real property is bigger and more valuable their neighbor’s.

    Americans live for only two inter-related things- consumtion and entertainment.

    Anyway, that will probably be the last time you ask me a question on your blog… which i learned today Dad now reads on a daily basis.

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