Kudos for Monday night football and Montego Bay United

Saturday, February 11, 2012

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THOUGH we have some concerns with the late kick-off times of the newly launched Monday night football live on CVM Television, we are delighted that the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) and Red Stripe have been able to conclude a deal as they attempt to advance the nation’s football a notch.

Just over three weeks ago the PLCA, in association with Red Stripe, through its flagship brew Red Stripe Beer, launched the Premier League TV show, Monday Night Football Live, which is a hi-tech, nine-camera television production, with state-of-the- art equipment to ensure the highest standard of production. The games start at 9:15 pm and will be held at every home ground equipped with proper lighting.

The first week was the Second Endof- Round Final between Montego Bay United and Portmore United at the Tony Spaulding Sport Complex, and it proved a smashing success, despite the game concluding well past midnight after going to extra time and penalties.

The second was a third-round game between Harbour View and Humble Lion at the Harbour View Compound; while the third game facilitated the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association organised Yellow Pages Jackie Bell Knockout semi-final between Arnett Gardens and Tivoli Gardens at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex.

The embarrassing behaviour of a few members of the Tivoli Gardens team in the third game notwithstanding, this newspaper throws its full support behind this endeavour, for we believe sport has increasingly become big business, and the growing popularity of live televised sporting disciplines has had significant effects on the broadcasting sector globally.

In sports broadcasting, being "live" is tops. That was true many years ago and it has become even more so today with rapidly evolving communication technology.

The global stage is replete with examples of the burgeoning commercial value of sports broadcasting (TV rights), one of the three main pillars of the sports industry — the others being gate receipts and sponsorship. The US network NBC has paid a whopping US$1.2 billion for rights to the London Olympics, and only last year the Caribbean got a taste of the power of TV rights.

The West Indies Cricket Board agreed to start a Test match against India here at Sabina Park on a Monday, fully aware that the match would not have received spectator support, but contented in the knowledge that they were being highly compensated by the huge TV rights from their Indian counterparts.

The structure of Jamaica’s football is in no way akin to what obtains in the developed world of professional football, but at the very least, it is a start and a move in the right direction.

We now hope that the PLCA and other stakeholders continue to move in the right direction.

As regards heading in the right direction, we were thrilled by Montego Bay United’s victory in the Second End-of-Round Final against Portmore United recently. For us, their victory was one for the development of football in Jamaica, having suffered much in their fight to transition from Seba United to Montego Bay United.

We commend the visionary leadership of Mr Orville Powell and his executives for sticking to their guns in the hope of building a solid foundation for all clubs to follow.




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