One of the things that writing a blog teaches you very quickly is that on the internet you attract a world-wide audience. A look at the stats for Goonerholic reveals a readership from across the globe. I suspect I am not the only blogger grateful that football is a universal language, and that by fair means or foul we are all able to watch the same games every week, and share our views about common themes.
Today I offer an apology to everybody outside the UK. I even offer an apology to people in the UK who have Sky Television. I am going to sound off again, like a cracked record, about the incredible unavailability of the new Arsenal TV channel to UK cable subscribers.
I have just been treated to an hour of the launch scheduling on Setanta 1, and very enjoyable it was too. At the end of the viewing I am treated to Setanta telling me all about it again on their website, here.
What a shame that between them, Setanta, Arsenal, and Virgin Media, have not seen fit to come to an agreement. I can watch at least five regional variations of BBC television and over two dozen +1 or 2 channels, and yet Virgin cannot find space for Arsenal TV? I could watch Celtic TV, Rangers TV, or Liverpool TV, and I can watch umpteen ‘seen one seen them all’ music channels. Thanks, but no thanks.
I have written to Virgin asking for an explanation and an estimated date when ATV will be available to me. Twenty-four hours on I have not had a reply other than the automated first response. To be honest I don’t expect much from them, or Setanta and Arsenal when I direct my follow up questions to them.
I do have somebody filling me in however with a list of advertisers on the new channel. I will be writing to them all questioning whether or not they are happy with the value they are getting for their marketing budget on the new channel when so many potential customers are being denied access.
Will it make a difference? Probably not. Arsenal and Setanta are making money out of the venture. Virgin will assume, probably correctly, that the army of Arsenal supporters currently subscribing to their service will not desert them ‘en masse’ in the short term. In all honesty that is not what I want either. I just want that one channel available for me to once again be, probably, the only satisfied Virgin Media customer in the country.
At this precise moment though I have to say I think Virgin are the biggest shambles of a company going, and Arsenal and Setanta are little better for being complicit in their blatant disregard for their customers.
If you are a Virgin customer, particularly one who either signed up or, like me, upgraded their service to receive Setanta Sports in order to receive Arsenal TV, please complain to Virgin here. I would be intrigued to hear the response if any readers have already complained and had a response, be it from Arsenal, Setanta, or Virgin.
Rant over (probably temporarily!) and once again I apologise to my readers across the globe. If you are happily watching the first night of Arsenal TV in the middle of nowhere, please don’t hesitate to tell us about it!
48 hours on and still no news from Virgin. Thanks those who have written in, including links to misleading advertising like this. Spot the deliberate mistake!
Arsenal too, contrary to popular belief, DID promise Virgin Media availability here.
Setanta also briefed the Guardian here. What’s that I see about Virgin Media.
More to follow no doubt!
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