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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Radio Telefis England

RTE are a joke. Let us count the ways...

They hoover up the licence fee yet ram the airwaves full of ads too

They spunk the proceeds on preposterous wages for eejits like Gerry Ryan

They settled actions for millions with people like Beverly Cooper Flynn and Monica Leech when they could and should have insisted on getting every penny back for their coffers

They can't do comedy at all

They're riven with internal politics, with half the organisation seeming to be plotting against the other half at any given time

But for me the main reason RTE are a joke is because of their slavish forelock tugging to all things English all the time. The newsroom acts like independence never happened, banging on about the royals and British 'celebs' all the time.

But the greatest disgrace is their sports department. Not for nothing is RTE known among League of Ireland fans as Radio Telefis England.

In recent weeks, we've seen stunning performances from local clubs in the qualifying rounds of European football. Bohemians narrowly robbed of victory against Trappatoni's former club, Red Bull Salzburg.

Derry City's mighty giant-killing run. Or best of all, St Pats Athletic's stunning performances that has brought them to the very brink of the group stages of the Europa Cup, formerly known as the UEFA Cup.

Pats' performance in Russia was so remote that only 3 fans were able to travel to witness it. Thank God, then, for RTE, the national broadcaster, who picked up the live rights from the Russians and broadcast the game to the fans back home.

Did they fuck. They didn't even cover it on radio.

The national team played its first ever game in Limerick yesterday. The national football team in an international friendly against Australia. You'd think people who couldn't get down to Limerick might want to watch that on TV. Well, they did. And they had to watch it on Setanta, because once again RTE couldn't give a shite for broadcasting Irish football.

Wait another few days though. Wait till the showpony parade of the English Premiership begins again, with all the hype and all the money. Wait for RTE to start tugging its forelock and giving a foreign football league more coverage than it gets from the national broadcaster in that foreign country.

Throw in their Celtic fixation and blanket coverage of British clubs in European competition, and you'd think that you were watching a British broadcaster, such is their sports coverage.

They've even been covering English test cricket on their news bulletins recently! I've no problem with cricket being covered - Ireland is a new test nation after all. So why don't they cover OUR IRISH team instead of a foreign one?

RTE - Radio Telefis England. They're probably already orgasming at the thought of covering our 'home' Olympics in 2012. In London, of course.


Rua said...

this is something that's becoming more and more common, cultural inferiority is alive and well. Coverage was so bad for the Australia match that I didn't even hear about it until yesterday-and I like football!

Twenty Major said...

You can't complain if people don't go and watch two teams of hungover +30, slightly chunky, men kick a ball around the Phoenix Park or VEC in Terenure on a Sunday morning - because the standard of football is utterly shit.

And the League of Ireland isn't much better than that. I'm glad it's not on the telly. That way I don't have to make a point of watching it (and I speak from the pov of someone who had to cover LOI in the past).

All the same I can't argue with the general point, RTE are cunts.

JC Skinner said...

Bollox, 20.
The LoI teams are performing excellently in Europe. The standard is good and improving all the time, as the only proper comparison - real, competitive ties with European opposition - proves.
I simply want to know why RTE get to levy me for a licence fee which they then spunk on English football you can see on any of a dozen other fucking channels already, while ignoring IRISH teams performing miracles in EUROPEAN competitions, which aren't being broadcast anywhere else.

the periodic englishman said...

Hello, JC Skinner, this was very interesting to read, thanks.

I only moved here (Ireland) five years ago, but I gave up on RTE a long time back. I found the output embarrassing, inept, anti-intellectual (bordering on the outright dumb) and disastrously boring for a very great deal of the time.

I also had a prickling feeling I was watching something that didn’t make Irish people look very good at all (an uncomfortable sensation for an outsider with a non specific – and doubtless wholly irrational - love of all things Ireland.) Like British TV, in fact, only much, much worse - and roughly five or so years behind the times (to be generous). Actually, perhaps it is more specifically akin to Scottish TV – or to my shuddering memory of it, at least.

And even when it does lift its gaze from its own grimly parochial navel, the fixation with British royals, say, or with minor British celebrities, is crushing and hopeless and wearisome. I agree with you totally on that. You may see it as forelock tugging – and I understand the particular aggravations this may bring, but don’t feel qualified to comment on how an Irish person may feel – but I simply see it as cheap and thoughtless TV, a catastrophic failure of the imagination and a terrible, dull-witted willingness to mimic the very worst of the British channels (as opposed to imitating to the very best, say, or, heaven help us, having an original idea). I think it should fairly be noted, however, that I’ve seen this weird interest in British royals and slebs being displayed on Portuguese, German, American and Dutch channels, too, so it’s not a peculiarly Irish affliction, by any means.

Unfortunately, I lived in Glasgow for a while and so no longer like or follow football – the depressing realities of grown men taking such a thing so very, very seriously put me off for life. Your point about the balance of coverage being biased towards teams operating outwith Ireland, however, seems fair and true. And yes, I suppose, it’s all slightly baffling and rather smacks of a lack of confidence in the home-based product.

Club affiliations are more fluid, however, and easily criss-cross borders, so I would be more inclined to feel aggrieved at the treatment of the national teams (both football and cricket). There should be space, of course, for an interest in the progress of more than simply the national team(s) – and one must hope that this is the case, really, as parochialism (however it may rear its head) is a dulling influence – but for a broadcaster to subjugate the interests of its national team to those of another country….well, that seems like a step too far and feels uncomfortably close to self-loathing. And it is most certainly a dereliction of duty.

Anyway, sorry for rambling on.

Kind regards etc…