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There was a time when ITV and the BBC had the monopoly on top-flight football. You either watched football on Saturday night's Match of the Day or Sunday's The Big Match or you didn't watch it at all.
Those days are gone.
Pubs actually emptied early on Saturday nights as beer soaked football fans streamed home in order to catch a few moments of their team. You always took a chance though, as the order the matches would be shown in was never published in advance. This was a 'trick' to ensure that the viewers would compliantly sit through every other game until theirs came on.
However Manchester United fans soon came to realised that even a goalless draw of theirs would be shown first, whereas the long suffering Arsenal fans knew that their 5-0 victories would be shown last - long after the Barnsley's, Sunderland's and Hull City matches went out. The reason, I'm told, is that the MOTD Editor is a Spurs fan. Might be more appropriate to have a follower of football in charge, but who I am to criticise? Nowadays of course things are different. By the time MOTD stumbles on the air on a Saturday night, with its tired format and jaded on screen line-up, the football watching public have spent the day streaming their matches on the internet, and selecting extended highlights on Sky Sports of their team's game. Soccer First airs a half an hour before MOTD on both the Saturday night and the following morning, neatly capturing the audience.
It's your choice. Either stay up to the small hours in the hope of seeing a snatch of your game, or hit the red button on Sky and see the lot. I know what I do.
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