Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Convergance shifts football to the 'net

Convergance, in media, is the merging of many different media formats into one. For example, twenty years ago you could have a film camera, a land-line telephone, maybe a cassette player and a NES if you were lucky! However, today, in 2009, the mobile phone can serve us for our camera, telephone, music and gaming needs, all in one device. This is mainly coming to be through the beginning of the 'digital age' where a lot of things are now done digitally rather than by analogue.

Recently in the media and therefore in my course (media production) there are big discussions about where television is going. With the arrival of the internet and now an increasing amount of 'on demand' services, such as BBC iPlayer and 4oD, in could be argued that television is becoming obsolete and that TV scheduling is a thing of the past as we make our own schedules, online. Being a sentimental type of person, I'm not a fan of the theory that one day we will schedule our own viewing fully and be rid of TVs, and similarly I wasn't a fan of the news that the recent Ukraine vs England match was to be broadcast not on terrestrial, free TV, not on expensive Sky Sports or ESPN, not even on pay-per-view television but by online subscription.

Even more worrying to me was the reported £3million that the company that made this deal, Kentaro, made from the subscriptions which ranged from £4.99 to £11.99. If this continues, as it seems it will (but fortunately it looks like not until after 2010) then I really fear that football will turn towards where some think TV is turning.

Being at a football match has no comparison in atmosphere but being in a pub during a match, especially one which everyone is enjoying like at the World Cup, or even just round a friend's house to watch a match is still a good and exciting atmosphere. If we are to all sit individually at a computer screen and watch a match, it doesn't spell good for football. Admittedly it was shown at cinemas but again, it's just not the same.

This convergence may be leading to a better technological world. A world where free internet and programs like Skype lead to free telecommunication or we watch, through our TVs, the television which is available on the internet, leading to less costs for producers and therefore theoretically cheaper charges for us as consumers. But as this could possibly happen (it already may have started), media could well be monopolised through the internet, leading to soaring costs! Either way, I'm still too sentimental to let 'traditional' TV go and I certainly don't want to be watching my football in front of my computer screen, especially at £12 a go!