Tag Archives: sentimental

Marcus Townend: Broadcast challenge for new kings Channel 4

Marcus Townend: Channel 4 face one helluva broadcast challenge in replacing the BBC

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

How ironic that the final BBC racing broadcast at abandoned Chepstow will not even manage to make it out of the starting stalls.

Leaving the sport with not even a whimper seems appropriate for an organisation whose divorce from racing has been coming for a long time.

The faces in front of camera soldiered on but the BBC television executives above them steadily lost interest, their mood not helped by the period when they were paying for their dwindling rights and Channel 4 was being handed cheques by the sport to keep its cameras rolling.

Changing of the guard: Clare Balding will be the new face of Channel 4 racing

Changing of the guard: Clare Balding will be the new face of Channel 4 racing

The landscape was transformed when bookmakers were allowed to start advertising on television and suddenly a live broadcast from Sandown became much more than merely an expensive, work-intensive option to another repeat of The Sound of Music.

Channel 4’s interest surged. Make no mistake, they have not signed a four-year deal for the terrestrial racing rights simply because they are in love with the sport.
It would be easy to drift away on sentimental memories but the truth is that the new

Channel 4 racing coverage has the potential to innovate and excite.

When cricket took the same journey from BBC to Channel 4, the station impressed with its refreshing new approach.

No show: Chepstow races which was due to the the last meet shown on the BBC has been postponed due to the weather

No show: Chepstow races which was due to the the last meet shown on the BBC has been postponed due to the weather

A re-jigged team of pundits line up under the leadership of the BBC’s transferred Clare Balding —not a bad signing given her current standing in the post-Olympics world of sports broadcasting. The new squad could have been more radical but it will be the attitude and tone set by their masters that is all important and early mission statements look promising.

Channel 4 looks enthused by their new venture and that, in contrast to the BBC’s attitude, has the capacity to shine through on screen.
Of course, adverts for the first time during the Grand National or at Royal Ascot will grate but longer programmes and less races will make the shows feel less like a mad dash through betting opportunities.

The BBC has a huge archive of racing memories — Red Rum at the 1977 Sports Personality of the Year show; Bing Crosby appearing on Grandstand on the day in the 1970s when the chaser Uncle Bing won and Frankie Dettori’s magnificent seven at Ascot in 1996.

But the baton has been passed on and it might not be a bad thing. A challenge has been set Channel 4. We will see in the coming weeks and months how well it does.

Manchester United New York Stock Exchange: Glazers won"t invest return in team – analysis

Will Glazers invest New York Stock Exchange cash on new signings Think again…

|

UPDATED:

07:29 GMT, 5 July 2012

The Glazers want to raise $100m(64m) by making shares in Manchester United available on the New York Stock Exchange, but if fans think that money will be spent on signings, they can think again.

Documents filed with the US financial regulators reveal a United debt mountain that stands at 423.3million.

For the first time, the Glazers have been forced to admit that interest payments on that debt could limit the club’s ability to buy and retain players and staff.

United front: The Glazer family, including Bryan Glazer (right) and Avram Glazer, have floated Manchester United on the new York Stock Exchange

United front: The Glazer family, including Bryan Glazer (right) and Avram Glazer, have floated Manchester United on the new York Stock Exchange

In other words, those interest payments – which have totalled 312m since 2009 – could be large enough to hamper the club’s efforts to overhaul free-spending rivals Manchester City who, of course, pipped United to the Barclays Premier League title last season

The Glazer’s original plan was a much larger float in Singapore to raise 640m, an idea that was pulled amid the global economic turmoil.

But going to Singapore would have allowed Manchester United to attract wealthy investors from the club’s huge Asian fan base.

Americans, not steeped in the beautiful game, are less likely to risk their dollars for sentimental reasons.

They may also be put off by the structure that the Glazers have erected.
A float usually dilutes the control of the major shareholder because new investors are getting a piece of the pie.

Money maker: The Glazers are looking to raise 64million by selling shares

Money maker: The Glazers are looking to raise 64million by selling shares

But the Glazers have rigged the float so that they will always have the final say on business decisions.

Americans may ask why they should spend good money to buy into an enterprise entirely controlled by a small family clan. They won’t even get a dividend for their trouble.

The move to register Manchester United Ltd in the Cayman Islands doesn’t look like a tax dodge, as the company will be treated like a US firm for tax purposes, actually increasing its bill.

But the island jurisdiction does have looser rules about how companies can treat minority shareholders, which might have appealed to the Glazers.

New signing: Shinji Kagawa arrived earlier this summer

New signing: Shinji Kagawa arrived earlier this summer

One insider, who once tried to buy the club from the Glazer family, told the Mail that the Americans could be preparing the ground for an eventual sale.

Stock market listings are the best way of putting a value on a company.
If that value turns out to be a lot higher than the 800m the Glazers spent to buy the club, they may decide that now is the time to hoist the for sale sign over Old Trafford.